We investigated patterns of isozyme variation and the hierarchic structure of genetic diversity in 25 Scandinavian populations of the lilioid herb, Anthericum liliago. Isozyme data suggest that tetraploid A. liliago has an allopolyploid origin and that A. ramosum may be one of its diploid progenitors. Two populations contained known or suspected hybrids between A. liliago and A. ramosum. Isozymes show that one population from S Sweden contains both triploid (hybrid) and tetraploid individuals whereas a putatively hybrid Danish population represents diploid A. liliago. There is an overall northward and eastward decline in allelic richness in the tetraploid populations, with the highest numbers of alleles in Denmark and SW Sweden. This pattern is consistent with a progressive loss of allelic variation during the species' postglacial colonization of Scandinavia. The between-population component of genetic diversity is 4% (compared with 12% in diploid A. ramosum), the between-region diversity component is 7% and 89% of the total diversity is stored within populations.