Phylogenetic analysis of nrDNA ITS and tmL (UAA) 5' exon-tmF (GAA) chloroplast DNA sequences from 17 species of Pelargonium sect. Peristera, together with nine putative outgroups, suggests paraphyly for the section and a close relationship between the highly disjurmt South African and Australian species of sect. Peristera. Representatives from Pelargonium sectt. Reniformia, Ligularia s. 1. and Isopetalum (the St. Helena endemic P. cotyledonis) appear to be nested within the Peristera clade. The dose relationship between the South African and Australian Peristera is interpreted as being caused by long-range dispersal to Australia, probably as recent as the late Pliocene
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