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Subfamily Hyacinthoideae (Hyacinthaceae) comprises more than 400 species. Members are distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, India, eastern Asia, the Mediterranean region and Eurasia. Hyacinthoideae, like many other plant lineages, show disjunct distribution patterns. The aim of this study was to reconstruct the biogeographical history of Hyacinthoideae based on phylogenetic analyses, to find the possible ancestral range of Hyacinthoideae and to identify factors responsible for the current disjunct distribution pattern.Parsimony and Bayesian approaches were applied to obtain phylogenetic trees, based on sequences of the trnL-F region. Biogeographical inferences were obtained by applying statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis (S-DIVA) and Bayesian binary MCMC (BBM) analysis implemented in RASP (Reconstruct Ancestral State in Phylogenies).S-DIVA and BBM analyses suggest that the Hyacinthoideae clade seem to have originated in sub-Saharan Africa. Dispersal and vicariance played vital roles in creating the disjunct distribution pattern. Results also suggest an early dispersal to the Mediterranean region, and thus the northward route (from sub-Saharan Africa to Mediterranean) of dispersal is plausible for members of subfamily Hyacinthoideae.Biogeographical analyses reveal that subfamily Hyacinthoideae has originated in sub-Saharan Africa. S-DIVA indicates an early dispersal event to the Mediterranean region followed by a vicariance event, which resulted in Hyacintheae and Massonieae tribes. By contrast, BBM analysis favours dispersal to the Mediterranean region, eastern Asia and Europe. Biogeographical analysis suggests that sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean region have played vital roles as centres of diversification and radiation within subfamily Hyacinthoideae. In this bimodal distribution pattern, sub-Saharan Africa is the primary centre of diversity and the Mediterranean region is the secondary centre of diversity. Sub-Saharan Africa was the source area for radiation toward Madagascar, the Mediterranean region and India. Radiations occurred from the Mediterranean region to eastern Asia, Europe, western Asia and India.