Abstract The six species of Fockea Endl. (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae, Fockeeae) occur in Africa south of the equator from southern Kenya to South Africa. A phylogeny for all six species of Fockea is inferred from data obtained from two chloroplast markers (the trnL-F region and the psbA-trnH intergenic spacer), one nuclear marker (ITS1 region), and morphology. Fockea is found to be monophyletic and sister to the bitypic Cibirhiza Bruyns. Morphologically, Fockea is characterized by the deeply tubular outer corona that is filled by the erect, inflated sterile appendages of the anthers. Of the six species, the widely distributed but exclusively tropical Fockea multiflora K. Schum. is sister to the other five members of Fockea, and, among these five, the widely distributed and mainly tropical F. angustifolia K. Schum. is sister to the remaining four, which are endemic to southern Africa. It is shown that Fockea most probably originated in South Tropical Africa. A complete taxonomic account is provided for the six species of Fockea, and their known distribution is mapped. Lectotypes are designated for Fockea capensis Endl., F. monroi S. Moore, F. schinzii N. E. Br., F. sessiliflora Schltr., and F. sinuata (E. Mey.) Druce. Neotypes are designated for Brachystelma macrorrhizum E. Mey., Fockea angustifolia, and F. comaru (E. Mey.) N. E. Br. An isotype has been located for F. multiflora.