Bignoniaceae have been shown to be one of the four most abundant and diverse families in several different neotropical ecosystems. Recent phylogenetic studies based on cpDNA sequences have shown Bignoniaceae to be monophyletic, and indicated that one of the largest tribes, the Tecomeae is paraphyletic. In addition, one group of Tecomeae including Tabebuia s.l. appears to be paraphyletic, having given rise to tribe Crescentieae. We have expanded our molecular phylogenetic studies based on ndhF to include increased sampling of Tabebuia s.l. and Crescentieae to examine this relationship further. This relationship, proposed by Alwyn Gentry, is surprising because Tabebuia is characterized by dehiscent fruits, non-cauliflorous inflorescences and bird or insect pollination, while Crescentieae is distinguished by cauliflory, indeshiscent fruits and bat pollination. Tabebuia s.l. has a center of diversity in the Greater Antilles (mainly Cuba) with a smaller proportion of species occurring in mainland Central and South America while the Crescentieae have a primarily mainland Central American distribution.

Key words: Bignoniaceae, cpDNA phylogeny, Crescentieae, Tabebuia s.l.