Cuphea lanceolata Ait. (Lythraceae) is an annual diploid (x = 6) with medium-chain fatty acid rich seed oils. Wild C. lanceolata populations are classified as C. lanceolata f. silenoides or C. lanceolata f. lanceolata on the basis of flower pigment differences. Although these taxa are taxonomically close, their interfertility has not been demonstrated. We describe meiotic phenomena underlying the sterility of hybrids between C. lanceolata f. silenoides (LNS-43) and C. lanceolata f. lanceolata (LNC-78) populations. We assayed metaphase and anaphase I microsporocytes of the parent and hybrid populations. The hybrids were female and male sterile. The mean percentage of stainable pollen was 94.9% for the parents and 1.1% for the hybrids. Chromosomes paired and disjoined normally in the parents (LNS-43 and LNC-78) and abnormally in the hybrids (LNS-43 x LNC-78 and LNC-78 x LNS-43). Univalents, unequal chromosome distributions, and laggards were observed in the hybrids. The mean number of univalents per cell was 0.00 for the parents and 5.95 for the hybrids, the mean number of bivalents per cell was 6.00 for the parents and 1.51 for the hybrids, and the mean number of chiasmata per cell was 9.19 for the parents and 4.04 for the hybrids. The most frequently observed (75%) anaphase I chromosome distribution for the hybrids was 7:5:0 (pole-pole-laggards). The genome affinities of the hybrids were half those of the parents (a mean of 0.5 for the hybrids as opposed to 1.0 for the parents). Although C. lanceolata f. silenoides and C. lanceolata f. lanceolata freely hybridize, their progeny are sterile, and the genetic diversity of LNC-78, and perhaps of C. lanceolata f. lanceolata as a whole, cannot be accessed through hybrids with C. lanceolata f. silenoides or C. viscosissima.