The taxonomic position of a soil isolate, strain BK147(T), was established using data from a polyphasic study. The organism showed a combination of chemotaxonomic and morphological characteristics consistent with its classification in the genus Actinomadura. It formed a distinct phyletic line in the phylogenetic tree based on 16S rRNA gene sequences of members of the genus Actinomadura and was most closely, albeit loosely, related to Actinomadura bangladeshensis DSM 45347(T), Actinomadura meyerae DSM 44715(T) and Actinomadura napierensis NRRL B-24319(T) but was readily distinguished from these strains using a range of phenotypic properties. Based on the combined genotypic and phenotypic data it is proposed that isolate BK147(T) ( = KACC 20919(T) = NCIMB 14771(T) = NRRL B-24852(T)) be classified as the type strain of a novel species of the genus Actinomadura, for which the name Actinomadura xylanilytica sp. nov. is proposed.