Recent morphologically-based treatments of Fuchsia (Onagraceae) recognize 105 species in 11 sections. This study examines the monophyly of the sections and intersectional relationships using sequence data from the ITS region of nuclear ribosomal DNA and two chloroplast DNA regions (the rpl16 intron and trnL/F spacer). The study uses 45 accessions representing 35 Fuchsia species in all 11 sections and four species in two outgroup genera, Circaea and Hauya. Relationships common to the nrDNA and cpDNA results include the following: Monotypic section Pachyrrhiza from Peru is sister to (nr), or nested in (cp), the large and generally monophyletic Andean section Fuchsia. Sections Jimenezia and Schufia are sister to the third small-flowered Central American section Encliandra (cp) or to members of the large-flowered Central American section Ellobium (nr). Coastal Chilean section Kierschlegeria is sister to south temperate Andean and southeastern Brazilian section Quelusia. The remaining sections (Andean Hemsleyella, Central American Ellobium, and South Pacific Skinnera and Procumbentes) are monophyletic (except Ellobium in nr results), but their relationships to other sections are not strongly supported with the character sampling. The small flowered Fuchsia verrucosa from northern South America clearly does not belong in section Fuchsia, appearing sister to section Encliandra (cp) or sister to section Hemsleyella (nr). The Hispaniolan Fuchsia triphylla is nested in the mainly Andean section Fuchsia (nr), but in the cp results it is sister to the apetalous section Hemsleyella. With these data and additional molecular and morphological sampling, we hope to obtain greater basal resolution and address biogeographical questions such as: 1) Are the two South Pacific sections sister to the nine American sections?, 2) Are sections Quelusia and Kierschlegeria from southern South America basalmost among the American species?, and 3) what are the closest relatives to the Central American sections?

Key words: biogeography, Fuchsia, molecular systematics, sectional relationships