The number of plants is not so big, compared to the neighboring countries (Russia, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus). There are several reasons for that: unfavorable conditions of desert and sandy Kazakhstan regions, occupying the significant part of its territory, the soil and climate. The Ustyurt plateau and the Betpakdala desert, the Caspian and Turan lowlands released from sea waters only in the Paleogene and the Neogene periods. Therefore the vegetation cover in these areas is not completed in full.
Modern flora of Kazakhstan is unique and diverse: it counts over 6000 species of plants.
Mountain regions in Kazakhstan are rich in vegetation due to high-altitude zone. Much of the Central Asian and Mediterranean flora was preserved in the western Tien-Shan. There one can find walnut, sycamore, almonds, Turkestan mapie, stone and other woody vegetation, preserved since the Paleogene.
Syrdariinsk-Karatau area has richer flora: more than 1,000 plant species, 150 of them are typical for the area, can be found there. Relict plants grow in the Chu-Ili Mountains. Coniferous
forests are growing in the mountain slopes of the Tien-Shan, Altai, Zhungar Alatau. These forests consist of spruce, fir, larch, cedar. Mountainous areas are rich in turf-grass, shrub meadows.
At the inter-mountain high plains of Altai the following shrubs grow: dogrose, hawthorm, honeysuckle and others. The flora of Zhungar Alatau and foothill plains of Tien-Shan Mountains are similar to the desert. There are also many ephemera and ephemeroides (sedge, bluegrass, poppies, tulips, etc.), forests of aspen, birch, wild apple, Loja, hawthorn, etc.
The plains, stretching from the north to the south for 1600 km, are covered by steppe and desert vegetation: Haloxylon, tamarisk (Tamarix), oleaster, heterophyllous poplar (Turanga).
Contemporary Kazakhstan flora is the coniferous and small-leaved forests - riparian forests, shrub, shrub steppe and subtropical plants, herbaceous vegetation takyrs and ephemers of the desert. In geobotanical regard, they occupy the territories of coniferous forest (southern Altai), forest-steppe of Western Siberia (Northern Kazakhstan), the Eurasian steppes (Volga-Ural, Mugodzhary-Turgay, Yesil-Nura, Ulytau-Sarysu, the shores of Zaisan Lake), Asian deserts (Turan lowland, Northern Tien-Shan, Karatau).