Two-hundred and fifty Lactobacillus strains isolated from healthy and diseased mucosa of human intestines of 75 individuals and 49 reference strains were phenotypically classified using 49 unit characters. Data were processed by the Jaccard (SJ) and Simple Matching (SSM) coefficients, and unweighted pair group algorithm with arithmetic averages. Seventeen major clusters were defined at the 76% SJ-similarity level which approximately correspond to the SSM-level of 91%. Seven clusters could be identified: Lactobacillus plantarum (isolates recovered from 5% of the patients), Lact. casei subsp. rhamnosus (17% of the patients), Lact. casei subsp. pseudoplantarum (5% of the patients), Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides (3% of the patients), Lact. buchneri (4% of patients), Lact. reuteri (4% of the patients) and Lact. salivarius subsp. salivarius (9% of the patients). Unassigned clusters 1 and 3 both contained homofermentative Lactobacillus strains. Cluster 1 included the type strains of Lact. crispatus, Lact. acidophilus, Lact. jensenii and Lact. gasseri, and cluster 3, the type strains of Lact. delbrueckii subsp. lactis, Lact. agilis and Lact. casei subsp. tolerans. Clusters 1 and 3 were found in 15% and 25% of the patients, respectively. Unassigned clusters 2, 6, 7, 8 and 10 contained homofermentative Lactobacillus strains but no reference strains. Clusters 11, 12, 15 and 17 were made up of heterofermentative Lactobacillus strains but no reference strains. Phenotypical characteristics of the clusters are given. No obvious trends in species (cluster) composition between different intestinal locations could be noted. Most clusters contained isolates from both diseased and healthy mucosa. Exceptions were cluster 15 and cluster 17 which only included isolates from healthy mucosa, and cluster 11 which only included isolates from diseased mucosa. Cluster 15 was isolated in 12% of the patients, and cluster 11 in 8%.