Restriction fragment length polymorphisms in controlled crosses were used to infer the mode of inheritance of chloroplast DNA and mitochondrial DNA in coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens D. Don Endl.). Chloroplast DNA was paternally inherited, as is true for all other conifers studied thus far. Surprisingly, a restriction fragment length polymorphism detected by a mitochondrial probe was paternally inherited as well. This polymorphism could not be detected in hybridizations with chloroplast probes covering the entire chloroplast genome, thus providing evidence that the mitochondrial probe had not hybridized to chloroplast DNA on the blot. We conclude that mitochondrial DNA is paternally inherited in coast redwood. To our knowledge, paternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA in sexual crosses of a multicellular eukaryotic organism has not been previously reported.