The classification of Schisandra Michx. sect. Sphaerostema (Blume) Nakai is revised, using multivariate statistical analyses as required. Only two species are recognized, viz. Schisandra plena A.C. Sm. and S. propinqua (Wall.) Baill., following reduction of S. axillaris (Blume) Hook.f. & Thorns, to a subspecies of the latter taxon. Four subspecies are recognized in S. propinqua, viz.: subsp. propinqua (N W India and Nepal); subsp. intermedia (A.C. Sm), stat. nov. (NE India, Burma and Yunnan); subsp. sinensis (Oliv.), stat. nov. (central and southern China); and subsp. axillaris (Blume), comb, et stat. nov. (Java and Bali). The biogeographical origin of the vicariant distribution of S. propinqua is discussed. A key is provided for the identification of taxa, with new taxonomic descriptions.