Individual heads (capitula) from five discrete artichoke, Cyara scolymus L., populations were evaluated using RAPD markers. One vegetatively-propagated cultivar; Green Globe; two seed-propagated cultivars, Imperial Star and Big Heart XR-1; and two breeding populations were examined. Twenty-seven RAPD primers were scored yielding 2 to 16 polymorphic bands resulting in a total of 178 bands. Our objective was to determine if RAPD markers could be used to distinguish between and within populations. The genetic relationships among populations as well as among individuals within each population were estimated using the ratio of discordant to total bands scored. Data reduction (MDS) provided a plot indicating five clusters corresponding to the five populations. Confirmation of the presence of five discrete clusters was obtained by analysis of variance of the marker frequencies. The genetic diversity index (GDI) was calculated for each populations as the pooled variance of band frequency for each population. The GDI values were highly correlated to the mean genetic distance within each population. The homogeneity of variance for the GDI values associated with each population were compared using the Siegel-Tukey test for homogeneity of spread.