The introduction of chromosome banding techniques for linear differentiation of chromosomes have allowed the identification of the heterochromatic segments on the chromosomes. These heterochromatic segments are primarily composed of repetitive DNA, which are discernible in the form of dark staining regions by Giemsa C band staining or exhibit enhanced or reduced fluorescent bands by Q banding techniques depending upon the particular type of DNA repetition. The analyses of banding patterns have allowed in plants, the identification of chromosomes or parts of chromosomes, which have been utilized for inter- and intra-species comparisons. Based on the information of banding patterns, amount and distribution of heterochromatic segments, coupled with karyotypic features and morphological similarities; the probable phylogenetic relationships in various plant taxa from Gymnosperms, Angiosperms (both dicots and monocots) have been suggested. The information on heterochromatin recognition have also been utilized in suggesting probable ancestry of polyploids and the trend of evolution in varietal differentiation and speciation. Analysing the data, a probable phylogenetic significance and the direction of change in heterochromatin evolution in plants is suggested. © 1983 Indian Academy of Sciences.