Nineteen diverse lentil genotypes, 8 originating from South Asia, 6 from West Asia, and 5 crossbreds using parents from South Asia and West Asia (or other Mediterranean environments), were evaluated for growth, phenology, yield, and yield components at Khumaltar in the mid-hill region of Nepal. Additionally, dry matter production, partitioning, root growth and water use of 8 selected genotypes from the 3 groups were measured at key phenological stages. The seed yield of the West Asian genotypes was only 330 kg/ha, whereas the South Asian genotypes produced a mean seed yield of 1270 kg/ha. The crossbreds had a significantly (P = 0.05) greater seed yield ( 1550 kg/ ha) than the South Asian genotypes. The high seed yield of both the South Asian and crossbred genotypes was associated with rapid ground cover, early flowering and maturity, a long reproductive period, a greater number of seeds and pods, high total dry matter, greater harvest index, and high water use efficiency. West Asian genotypes, on the other hand, flowered 43 days later, matured 15 days later, and had a shorter reproductive period (by 22 days) than the crossbred and South Asian genotypes. The 23% greater seed yield in the crossbreds compared with the South Asian genotypes was the result of a similar increase in seed size (weight per seed).There were no significant differences in total root length (mean 4.7 km/m(2)), root dry matter (mean 95.5 g/m(2)), or water use among the 3 groups during the major part of the growing period. There was a significant difference in total water use due to the longer growing season of the West Asian genotype ILL 7983 and its ability to use late-season rainfall. Maximum water use efficiencies for seed yield of 7.0 kg/ha.mm and for above-ground dry matter of 18.9 kg/ha.mm were comparable with those reported in India and the Mediterranean environments of south-western Australia and Syria.