Previous phylogenetic analyses of Orchidaceae subtribe Orchidinae resulted in the proposal to classify Coeloglossum viride (L.) Hartman within the genus Dactylorhiza in order to maintain its monophyly. In this paper, we report some results that contradict previous studies regarding the monophyly of the traditional Dactylorhiza and its phylogenetic relationship with Coeloglossum. Our results, which combine sequences of the internal and external transcribed spacers of the nuclear ribosomal DNA, support the monophyly of Dactylorhiza, with Coeloglossum being a sister clade. The position of C. viride in the phylogenetic tree, and the considerable morphological differences with respect to Dactylorhiza, incline us to retain both lineages as distinct genera. © 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 152, 261–269.
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