The family Staphyleaceae is a small dicotyledonous family of trees and shrubs consisting of three genera, Staphylea, Euscaphis, and Turpinia, totaling approximately 50-60 species and distributed across both the old and new world. No revision exists for the family or any of its component genera. The distribution of Staphyleaceae and the fact that the three genera are primarily delimited on the basis of fruit type has led to some interesting questions about the monophyly of the genera. We initiated a study to address this problem using sequence data from one nuclear (ITS 1 and 2) and three chloroplast (the psbA-trnH, matK-trnK and trnT-trnL) regions. All recognized species of Staphyleaceae were sampled, as well as related genera. Results from comparative studies based on sequence data revealed relationships quite different from those supported by morphology. Results from this analysis suggest that traditional generic groupings are polyphyletic and a re-evaluation of the delimitation of the genera is necessary. Data gathered to date and the biogeographic history of Staphyleaceae as constructed from molecular sequence, morphological and fossil data will be discussed.

Key words: biogeography, Euscaphis, ITS, Staphylea, Staphyleaceae, Turpinia