Abstract Veronica orientalis and related species form one of the taxonomically most challenging subgroups within the genus Veronica. Hybridization and polyploidization on the one hand and convergent character evolution on the other have made delimitation of species dif?cult. Ampli?ed fragment length polymorphisms and plastid DNA markers were used in conjunction with 54 morphological characters to study relationships among 35 accessions of V. orientalis Mill. as well as other closely related species of Veronica occurring in Turkey and adjacent areas of Georgia and Armenia. In addition, ploidy levels were estimated for 15 accessions using ?ow cytometry. Diploid to hexaploid individuals were detected in V. orientalis. Analysis of DNA markers demonstrated the non-monophyly of V. orientalis, especially with regard to V. fuhsii and V. multi?da from Eastern Turkey, but nuclear and plastid DNA markers are largely incongruent. Neither demonstrates a clear biogeographic pattern. The morphological analysis reveals the distinction of V. orientalis
subsp. carduchorum, which is weakly retrieved in some molecular analyses and some clustering according to geography. V. multi?da is not monophyletic likely due to parallel evolution of pinnati?d leaves east and west of the Anatolian diagonal.
Keywords Veronica, AFLP, cpDNA, Morphology, Polyploidy, Turkey