A phylogenetic analysis of Cyperaceae tribe Cariceae was conducted using chloroplast DNA sequences from the gene ndhF and trnL intron and trnL-trnF intergenic spacer. Twenty nine taxa within Cariceae, four outgroup genera, and approximately 3,000 bp of cpDNA were included in the study. Our analysis reveals a monophyletic Cariceae with 100% bootstrap support. Within Cariceae, the South African genus Schoenoxiphium forms a clade that is sister to the rest of the tribe. Our results indicate that genus Carex is paraphyletic with respect to Kobresia, Cymophyllus, and Uncinia. Cymophyllus and Uncinia are nested within an assemblage containing Kobresia, Cymophyllus, and several unispicate Carex species. At the subgeneric level within Carex, only Carex subgenus Vignea appears monophyletic. Several well supported clades were identified within the Cariceae, including the Schoenoxiphium clade, Uncinia clade, Carex subgenus Indocarex/Carex clade, and subgenus Vignea clade; however, relationships among some clades are only moderately supported. Interpretation of the phylogenetic patterns and an account of past phylogenetic hypotheses with respect to the new data are provided.
Communicating Editor: Jeff H. Rettig