Phylogenetic relationships within the family Parmeliaceae (lichenized ascomycetes) with emphasis on the heterogeneous group of cetrarioid lichens are reconstructed. The results are based on cladistic analyses of DNA-sequences, morphological and chemical data. Almost all currently recognized cetrarioid genera were included in the analyses together with parmelioid and alectorioid members of the presumably monophyletic family Parmeliaceae. We tried to sample taxonomic diversity of the family as widely as possible. The ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of the rDNA and a partial beta-tubulin gene from 126 samples representing 82 species were analysed. Cetrarioid lichens were identified as a monophyletic group, supported by both ITS and beta-tubulin characters. This group was reanalysed using 47 morphological, anatomical and secondary chemistry characters combined with the DNA data matrix. ITS and beta-tubulin sequences provide congruent information, and a clear correlation between DNA-data and conidial shape is observed. The current taxonomy of the cetrarioid lichens is discussed and compared with the phylogenetic trees obtained here. A comprehensive study of the phylogeography of some bipolar or subcosmopolitic species with representatives from both hemispheres was performed. Cetraria aculeata is the only taxon where correlation between DNA-data and geographic origin is observed.