Recent insight in the phylogeny of the Rubiaceae, mainly based on macromolecular data, agrees better with wood anatomical diversity patterns than previous subdivisions of the family. The two main types of secondary xylem that occur in Rubiaceae show general consistency in their distribution within clades. Wood anatomical characters, especially the fibre type and axial parenchyma distribution, have indeed good taxonomic value in the family. Nevertheless, the application of wood anatomical data in Rubiaceae is more useful in confirming or negating already proposed relationships rather than postulating new affinities for problematic taxa. The wood characterised by fibre-tracheids (type I) is most common, while type II with septate libriform fibres is restricted to some tribes in all three subfamilies. Mineral inclusions in wood also provide valuable information with respect to systematic relationships.