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Molecular phylogenetic studies by J. Lee et al. (2003) indicated that Malacothrix is

       polyphyletic and that Atrichoseris is basal to the subclade of Malacothrix that does not
       contain the type species of that genus. Atrichoseris differs in base chromosome number (x =
       9) from the species of Malacothrix with which it is most closely grouped (x = 7).
       Atrichoseris differs from Malacothrix in having apically truncate cypselae that are wholly