the in vitro trypanocidal activity of 22 extracts and 43 fractions of plants belonging to the families meliaceae and rutaceae was evaluated. the extracts from leaves of conchocarphus heterophyllus and branches of trichilia ramalhoi were the most active. the trypanocidal activity seems to be increased by fractionation of the extracts. fractions from c. heterophyllus and galipea carinata were the most active and a 100% lysis of the parasites was observed for five fractions. from one of them were isolated two flavonoids: flavone and 7-methoxyflavone, which showed weak trypanocidal activity. the results obtained from the extracts and fractions revealed that the order rutales is a promising source for the search of new drugs for chagas disease. phytochemical studies with the other active fractions are underway in order to isolate compounds, which could be associated with observed activities.