Genetic distances between seven oil sunflower inbred lines expressed in the variability of five morphological traits were analysed in terms of their effect on the specific combining ability (SCA) effects in these lines for yield component traits. The multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and other related multidimensional methods were used to recognize the differences between genotypes with respect to morphological traits. Canonical analysis was applied for a graphical configuration of parental lines and diallel hybrids in the two-dimensional space. As a measure of the difference between parental lines with respect to the analysed morphological traits jointly, i.e. as a measure of the morphological distance between these forms, Mahalanobis? distance was used. Phenotypic differences between lines were estimated using Mahalanobis? distance for each pair of crossed lines calculated for all the analysed morphological traits. The effect of morphological differences between inbred lines on the mean SCA effect for individual yield components, measured by the linear regression, was significant for oil yield per plant and for the number of seeds per plant.