Two new species, Centaurea kamyaranensis Ranjbar & Negaresh and C. bavegehensis Ranjbar & Negaresh, collected from Kermanshah Province in western Iran are described and illustrated. Both are assigned to Centaurea L. sect. Cynaroides Boiss. ex Walp. (Asteraceae, Cardueae) on the basis of the racemose synflorescences, the adaxial stem leaves decurrent, the subglobose to ovoid involucres, and the phyllary appendages triangular to ovate or orbicular, not decurrent, usually ciliate and ending in a firm spine or spinule. The new species are closely related to C. regia Boiss. subsp. regia, but C. kamyaranensis differs by its median appendages being narrowly triangular and 17–21 × 10–11 mm, with fewer cilia on each side, subreflexed, and white flowers. Centaurea bavegehensis is distinguished by its phyllaries being densely lanate and tomentose, with the appendages concealing a minor part of the phyllaries, the median appendages triangular, 14–16 × 5–6 mm, with two to four cilia on each side, and the cilia 0.8–3 mm. A description of Centaurea sect. Cynaroides and a key to all the species of the section in Iran are presented here. Both subspecies for C. regia in Iran are discussed.
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