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Amberboa has often been included within Centaurea, from which it differs by cypselae each with a denticulate apex and a conspicuous rim around the basal scar. The chromosome base number x = 16 is higher than that in most species of Centaurea in a strict sense. Molecular phylogenetic studies of the relationships of Cynareae genera (A. Susanna et al. 1995) place Amberboa as sister to the remaining genera of the Centaureinae.