The diversity of a flora of Kazakhstan considerably varies both by structure and number of various systematic taxones of plants (species, sorts etc.), and by geography, in particular, by nature-climatic zones and high-altitude belts. In the plain part of the steppe and desert zones both diversity and peculiarity of a flora are increased from west by east, and in mountain systems - from northeast (Altay) to the southwest (Western Tien-Shan, Karatau).

In the Kazakhstan territory, more than 6000 species of highest vascular plants, about 5000 species of mushrooms, 485 species of lichen, more than 2000 species of seaweed, about 500 species of mushrooms are registered. (Figure .1)

Figure 1

Flora diversity


It is necessary to note that the most complete inventory of highest vascular plants and mushrooms have been conducted. Among highest vascular plants, 14% of species are endemic, i.e., every one of seven species is typical only for this territory, which testifies to a high peculiarity of the flora of the Republic. Among endemics, it is necessary to specially mention 10 endemic monotype sorts: Physandra, Rhaphidophyton, Pseudoeremostachys, Pseudomarrubium, Botschanzevia, Cancriniella, Spiraeanthus, Pterygostemon, Pastinacopsis, Niedzwedzkia. Among endemics there is a lot of relicts.

In general, the flora of highest plants of Kazakhstan was generated on the basis of subtropical vegetation of eocene, mezophyll-forest oligocen flora, ancient Mediterranean neocene flora, including primal myocene-pleocene steppes. A number of representatives of past epochs was preserved as relicts. They are: Spiraenthus schrenkianus, Rhaphidophyton regelii, Echinops saissanicus, Zygophyllum potaninii etc. (eocene); Betula turkestanica, Juglans regia, Malus sieversii, Sorbus persica, Populus talassica etc. (oligocene); Iris scariosa, Rheum nanum, Allium polyrrhizum etc. (myocene-pliocene).

In the structure of micro-flora of Kazakhstan 4,8% species are endemic. Especially high endemism is typical for spherpside mushrooms of Kazakhstan, where there are 3 endemic sorts and 124 endemic species (12% of species structure spherpside mushrooms) (figure. 2)

Figure 2

Species ratio of fungei families


The vegetative world of Kazakhstan including up to 14-15 thousand of species, considerably differs by zones, natural belts, patrimonial diversity. There is no complete information on mosses, lichens, seaweed. Large work on inventory and estimation of the diversity condition of plants is therefore necessary.

The flora of highest plants includes a lot of useful medicinal, fodder, technical, food, decorative and other species.

Tanning plants belong to the most studied group of raw plants. The long-term researches revealed more than 20 species of practically valuable tanning plants, among which there are: Polygonum coriarium Grig), P. Bucharicum G., Rumex tianschanicus A. Losinsk., R. Paulseniacus Rechiil, Rheum tataricum L., Rh. Maximowiozii Losinsk. The stocks of dry roots of these species exceed 200 thousand tons.

Technical plants of complex use - Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Et Stend.), Achnatherum splendens (Trin.) Nezski).

Major food plants are: Malus sieversii (Ledeb.) M. Room), apricot ordinary (Armeniaca vulgaris L.), Crataegus L., Berberis L., Annually, forestry organizations collect up to 300 t of fruits of apple-trees, hawthorn, apricot.

Among 450 surveyed species of aromatic plants, at least 70 are perspective by content and structure of oil. Among them are: Artemisia L., Hyssopus L., mint Mentha L., Achillea L.

The resources of the basic medicinal plants (80%) are widespread in the mountains of Zailiiski Alatau, Ketmen, Kungey and Terskey Alatau, Jungar Alatau, Kirghiz Ridge, Boraldaitau, Altay, Tarbagatai. The Republic can export some species. Thus, the resources of Ephedra equisetina Bunge allow to collect, without damage up to 700 tons of dry raw material, stocks of Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Uralensis Fisch. make 75 thousand tons, which enables to export raw material of these species in significant volumes. For other species resources are sufficient for satisfaction of internal demand in vegetative raw material. It is only necessary to streamline the system of collection and rules of implementation of this campaign.