The taxonomy ofVeronica (Veroniceae; Scrophulariaceae) and segregated genera, such as Hebe from New Zealand has been debated intensively in the past. We conducted an analysis of sequence data from the internal transcribed spacer region of nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS) to evaluate the validity of segregate genera and the monophyly of Veronica. According to the results presented here, Veronica is paraphyletic, with the Hebe complex, Synthyris, and Paederota nested within the larger Veronica clade. Pseudolysimachion is in a basal polytomy of the expandedVeronica clade in the strict consensus tree and might be nested within Veronica as well. Clades within Veronica do not correspond to sections traditionally recognized. This study provides a first estimation of the phylogeny of Veroniceae using molecular data and can serve as a starting point for future investigations of Veronica and relatives.
Key words: ITS - Molecular phylogeny - Scrophulariaceae - Veronica - Veroniceae