We investigated inter- and intraspecific phylogenetic relationships in the ectomycorrhizal fungal genus Leccinum section Scabra. Species of this section are exclusively associated with Betula and occur throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We compared the phylogenetic relationships of arctic, alpine, boreal and temperate accessions of section Scabra based on DNA sequences of the single-copy nuclear gene Gapdh and the multiple-copy nuclear region 5.8S-ITS2. Exclusively arctic lineages were not detected in species that occur both in arctic-alpine or boreal regions, except in L. rotundifoliae that was restricted to cold climates. L. scabrum and L. holopus showed an intercontinental phylogeographic pattern, and L. variicolor showed a pattern unrelated to geographical distribution. Molecular clock estimates indicated that L. rotundifoliae is as old as other species in section Scabra. Individual gene trees suggest that interspecific hybridisation occurred several times in the evolution of section Scabra.