Pyrrosia s.l. comprises ca. 60 species with a disjunct Africa/Asia and Australia distribution. The infrageneric classification of Pyrrosia s.l. is controversial based on the phylogenetic analyses of chloroplast markers and morphology. Based on the expanded taxon sampling of Pyrrosia s.l. (51 species), we investigated its phylogeny, biogeography, character evolution and environmental adaptation by employing five chloroplastid markers (rbcL, matK, psbA-trnH, and rps4 + rps4-trnS) and one single (low)-copy nuclear gene, LEAFY. Pyrrosia s.l. was divided into six major clades and eight subclades. Reticulate evolution was revealed both among clades and among species in Pyrrosia s.l. Ancestral character state optimization revealed high levels of homoplastic evolution of the diagnostic characters in Pyrrosia s.l., while the crassulacean acid metabolism pathway seems to have an independent origin. Molecular dating and biogeographic diversification analyses suggested that Pyrrosia s.l. originated no later than the Oligocene and the main clades diversified during the Oligocene and Miocene, with southern Asia, the Indo-China Peninsula and southwestern and southern China as the most likely ancestral areas. Transoceanic long-distance dispersal, rather than vicariance, contributed to the intercontinental disjunction. Diversification scenarios of Pyrrosia s.l. under geological movements and climate fluctuation are also discussed.