Microseris laciniata comprises four, mostly allopatric subspecies, the diagnostic features of which are found mainly in the phyllaries and pappi. These races intergrade where they come in contact, with the greatest diversity occurring in the Klamath Mountains of northern California and southern Oregon (K. L. Chambers 2004b). S. Mauthe et al. (1981) reported on a detailed morphologic analysis of the heads and pappi of M. laciniata and proposed that the observed variation could be explained by the interaction of a limited number of major genes. The species is consistently self-sterile and outcrossing. It also may reproduce clonally by adventitious buds borne on lateral roots.