Genetic variation in chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora) was studied using a recently developed technique generating Random Amplified Polymorphic DNAs(RAPDs). It appeared that variation between cultivars was high and that the cultivars used could be distinguished from each other by using only two different primers. A family of cultivars, derived from one original cultivar by vegetative propagation, had identical fragment patterns. Because of the high level of polymorphism and clonal stability RAPD fragments are useful for cultivar identification. Genetic variability among related Dendranthema species was too high to study genetic distances either among cultivars within chrysanthemum or among species related to chrysanthemum.