Nineteen kenaf genotypes from Cuba, Taiwan, the USA, El Salvador, Guatemala, Russia, Spain and Indonesia, and three wild types collected in South Africa were analysed for genetic diversity using AFLP analysis. All could be uniquely distinguished from one another, but only a low level of genetic diversity was present. The most distinct accession, Guatemala 4, was 85% similar to all other accessions. The accessions clustered more or less according to known pedigree and/or origin. Two of the three wild types (Hibiscus cannabinus c and H. cannabinus a) clustered separately from the commercial and Russian accessions. One of the wild types, H. cannabinus b clustered with some of the commercial accessions. Commercial accessions in the first subgroup all originated from central and North America, and surrounding islands (Cuba and El Salvador). The Russian accessions are all grouped together. The second subgroup was the only group that contained accessions from different geographical origins.