the pantropical family eriocaulaceae includes ten genera and c. 1,400 species, with diversity concentrated in the new world. the last complete revision of the family was published more than 100 years ago, and until recently the generic and infrageneric relationships were poorly resolved. however, a multi-disciplinary approach over the last 30 years, using morphological and anatomical characters, has been supplemented with additional data from palynology, chemistry, embryology, population genetics, cytology and, more recently, molecular phylogenetic studies. this led to a reassessment of phylogenetic relationships within the family. in this paper we present new data for the its and trnl-f regions, analysed separately and in combination, using maximum parsimony and bayesian inference. the data confirm previous results, and show that many characters traditionally used for differentiating and circumscribing the genera within the family are homoplasious. a new generic key with characters from various sources and reflecting the current taxonomic changes is presented.