Karakalpakstan territory can be divided into four botanical and geographical regions: the Ustyurt Plateau, the Kyzylkum Desert, the lower reaches of the Amudarya River and the dry areas of the Aral Sea. At present, approximately 1,000 higher plant species grow in these regions. A great number of these plants have beneficial properties and have been widely used in medicine since ancient times.
The Ustyurt Plateau is abundant in forage plants that enable cattle grazing year round. Here you can find various plants such as biyurgun, wormwood, saxaul, keyreuk, ephemerals and ephemeroids.
The sandy expanses of the Kyzylkum Desert are covered with various types of vegetation: white saxaul, djuzgun, wormwood, cherkez and biyurgun. There are also different cereals, ilaks, ephemerals and ephemeroids, such as ephedra, sagebrush and selin. The selin plant is also known as three-awned grass. A great number of these plants are used as cattle fodder and medicine (ferula, ephedra and woodworm).
Another botanical and geographical region of Karakalpakstan, the lower reaches of the Amudarya River, is known as a typical plain without relief that has a faint slope towards the Aral Sea. The lower reaches of the Amudarya River are characterized by a high concentration of riparian woodlands growing within the area of the modern and ancient Amudarya deltas. They are considered the main area of riparian woodlands distribution in Central Asia. The other types of vegetation growing in the lower reaches of the Amudarya include reed, fodder, medicinal, dyeing and aromatic plants.
Vegetation from the dried bottom of the Aral Sea that people have started to cultivate only recently is still scarce. It consists of various types of halophytes: tamarisk species, djizguns, glassworts, selins and others. One of the most important subarborescent plants is black and white saxaul.