The genus Pteronia consists of approximately 80 species which are widely distributed in southern Africa. The essential oils isolated from the aerial parts of eleven species, analyzed by GC-MS varied both qualitatively and quantitatively. In Pteronia pallens, Pteronia empetrifolia and Pteronia flexicaulis uncommon sesquiterpenes such as presilphiperfolol-7-ene, 7-alpha-(H)-silphiperfol-5-ene, 7-beta-(H)-silphiperfol-5-ene, alpha-campholene aldehyde, silphiperfol-5-ene, cameroonan-7-alpha-ol, silphiperfol-7-beta-ol, presilphiperfolan-9-alpha-ol and presilphiperfolan-8-ol (a major compound in P. pallens) were identified. Cluster analysis based of the chemical composition of the oils revealed that individual plants of Pteronia camphorata collected in the same population had similar oil profiles with a high correlation coefficient (S-corr approximate to 0.98). Similarly, the essential oil composition of P. pallens collected from two distinct localities also showed high levels of congruency (S-corr approximate to 0.99). (C) 2009 SAAB. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.