Loranthaceae (73 genera and ca. 900 species) comprise mostly aerial hemiparasitic plants. Three monotypic genera considered relicts are root parasites. The family is diverse in tropical areas, but representatives are also found in temperate habitats. Previous classifications were based on floral and inflorescence morphology, karyological information, and biogeography. The family has been divided into three tribes: Nuytsiae, Elytrantheae (subtribes Elytranthinae and Gaiadendrinae), and Lorantheae (subtribes Loranthinae and Psittacanthinae). Nuytsiae and Elytrantheae are characterized by a base chromosome number of x = 12, whereas subtribes Loranthinae (x = 9) and Psittacanthinae (x = 8) numbers are derived via aneuploid reduction. To elucidate the phylogeny of the family, we analyzed sequences from five genes (nuclear small and large subunit rDNA and the chloroplast genes rbcL, matK, and trnL-F) representing most genera using parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian inference. The three root parasites, Nuytsia, Atkinsonia, and Gaiadendron, are supported as successive sister taxa to the remaining genera, resulting in a monophyletic group of aerial parasites. Three major clades are resolved each corresponding to a subtribe. However, two South American genera (Tristerix and Notanthera) and the New Zealand genus Tupeia, which were previously classified in subtribe Elytranthinae, are weakly supported as part of a clade representing the South American subtribe Psittacanthinae. Key words: matK; parasitic plants; phylogeny; rbcL; ribosomal DNA; Santalales; trnL-F intergenic spacer.