As part of a study looking at relationships within the Hawaiian endemic genus Lipochaeta DC., a phylogenetic analysis of the subtribe Ecliptinae s. s. (Asteraceae: Heliantheae) using sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA was conducted to explore the potential polyphyly of the genus. Two well supported clades were found. A clade containing the "core Ecliptinae" (Wedelia, Zexmenia, Oyedaea, and Elaphandra) agrees with results of a previous cpDNA restriction site study, although topological relationships within the clade and its placement in the tree are not well supported by bootstrapping. A much more robust clade consisting of Wulffia, Perymenium, Wollastonia, Melanthera, and Lipochaeta shows a sister relationship between Wollastonia and Melanthera, and these are sister to Lipochaeta. While some previous workers have suggested independent origins of the two sections of Lipochaeta from possibly different wedelioid ancestors, Lipochaetaappears to be monophyletic. An expanded sampling of genera in the subtribe is currently in progress.

Key words: Ecliptinae, Heliantheae, ITS, Lipochaeta, phylogeny