Phylogenetic relationships within the Parmeliaceae are analysed cladistically on the basis of DNA characters from partial beta-tubulin, partial glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and ITS sequences. 100 taxa representing 73 of the 88 genera currently recognised are included in the analyses. Eight monophyletic groups including two or more genera were identified in the tree calculated from the combined data matrix. Three of the groups cover almost half of the species of the family. The largest and strongest supported group includes seven genera with their distribution centres in the Southern Hemisphere: Almbornia, Chondropsis, Karoowia, Namakwa, Neofuscelia, Xanthomaculina and Xanthoparmelia. The second group is a clade of four essentially tropical genera: Concamerella, Flavoparmelia, Parmotrema and Rimelia. The third large group with strong support is the core of cetrarioid lichens, distributed primarily in cold areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The genus Parmelia sensu Hale is not closely related with most of its segregates. One new combination, Cetrariella commixta, is proposed. Coelopogon abraxas is reported from South America for the first time.