We investigated the karyotypes of 13 species of six sections of the genus Inga (Leguminosae-Mimosoideae) from Brazil. We used conventional Giemsa staining to identify numerical chromosomal variations and looked for karyotypic evolutionary patterns. The karyotypes generally had small chromosomes, varying from metacentric to submetacentric, with a basic number x = 13. Nine of the species showed 2n = 2x = 26 (I. thibaudiana, I. cayennensis, I. ingoides, I. edulis, I. vera, I. subnuda, I. striata, I. bollandii, and Inga sp), while 2n = 4x = 52 was seen in a population of Inga cylindrical and of I. capitata, and in five populations of I. laurina. Additionally, 2n = 8x = 104 was observed in a population of I. cayennensis. Eight of these counts were new, while the counts of 2n = 52 for I. laurina and 2n = 26 for I. marginata, I. vera, I. subnuda, and I. edulis confirmed previous studies. We did not find cytological stability among the sections studied, with occurrence of significant intra- and inter-specific numerical variations. We conclude that polyploidy has played a significant role in karyotypic evolution in this group and that it occurred independently in several sections of the genus.