The water area of the bay is rich in aquatic vegetation, and on its shores there can found all the succession stages of vegetation formations: from coastal plavni, meadow-marshy and meadow-saline to semi-desert and desert formations.
Aquatic vegetation. Kizlyar Bay is shallow, the water is strongly freshened, a thick layer of mud lies at the bottom, the areas open for heavy sea roughness are absent. All this contributes to luxuriant growth of emergent vegetation in the shallows: the deeper areas are overgrown with Bolboschoenus maritimus, closer to the shore there grow Typha angustifolia, Scirpus lacustris and Phragmites australis. The water surface of reaches is characterized by vast covers composed of Nymphoides peltata, Lemna trisulca,Caulinia minor; rarely Salvinia natans, Potamogeton natans are found. The projective cover of underwater meadows reaches 80-100%. There Potamogeton pectinatus is prevalent, the deeper areas are occupied by Potamogeton crispus, Myriophyllum spicatum, Myriophyllum verticillatum, Ceratophyllum demersum. The channels are grown with Vallisneria spiralis, Ceratophyllum demersum, Myriophyllum verticillatum. In the quiet backwaters there are found Salvinia natans, Potamogeton natans, Lemna minor.
Meadow vegetation. Plavni are represented by primary phytocoenoses composed of reedbeds. On the periphery and partially under the canopy of reeds there grow Typhalaxmanii, Typha minima, Butomus umbellatus, Alisma plantago-aquatica, Bolboschoenus maritimus. The height of the reed in the plavni is 3-5 m. Annually, for 2-4 months theplavni are filled with water, and in the lowest places remain under water throughout the year. From the land they are bordered by the reedbeds which are less continuously flooded (no more than 2 months) and less deeply standing in water. This type of reedbeds is regarded as marshy meadows. The average height of the reed in marshy meadows reaches 1.5-2 m. There also grow Calamagrostis epigeios, Mentha aquatica, Lycopus europaeus, Lythrum salicaria and Lythrum virgatum. Closer to the land, marshy meadows are replaced with near plavni meadows, in the grass stand of which the reed still plays an important role, but less hygrophilous grasses are prevalent:Calamagrostis epigeios, Elytrigia repens, Alopecurus ventricosus, Festuca orientalis. Quite often there can be found Poa trivialis, Polypogon, Bromus squarrosus. AmongCyperaceae some reed species dominate as well as Eleocharis palustris, Carex melanostachya. Forbs are characterized by Sium sisaroideum, Althaea officinalis,Trachdmitum sarmatlense, Stachys palustris, Galium palustre, Inula britanica, Glycyrrhiza glabra.
Littoral vegetation. On marine sand shores there are formed pioneer associations, sometimes they develop a closed canopy. The most typical are Agropyrum Sibiricum,Centaurea arenaria, Syrenia sessiliflora, Gypsophila paniculata, Medicago caerulea, Tournefortia sibirica, Convolvulaceae. Elevated sandy areas are covered withAgriophyllum arenarium, Corispermum orientale, sometimes Calligonum aphyllum is found. The species of sandy steppes are represented by Elymus giganteus, Artemisia arenaria, Tamarix ramosissima. The height of the herbage is 40-50 cm, the harvest amounts to 700 kg per ha, used as pastures.
Desert vegetation is represented by saltwort, wormwood-saltwort and saltwort-wormwood phytocoenoses. Primitive unstable associations composed of Petrosimonia crassifolia and Petrosimonia brachiata, Atriplex tatarica, Zygophyllum fabago, Halocnemum strobilaceum and other species are the first link in a series of desert plant communities. On marine and river terraces with shallow salty ground waters there are developed saltwort-wormwood complexes dominated by Artemisia salina. They usually replace saline puccinellia meadows, with drying out of which there often develops a two-part complex composed of petrosimonia-wormwood associations (with Artemisia salina and Petrosimonia brachiata) and puccinellia-limonium-wormwood associations (with Artemisia salina, Puccinellia gigantea, Limonium gmelinii). On less saline river terraces the vegetation begin to dominate with the Melilotus and Cynodon dactylon; the tree-shrub layer is represented by Tamarix laxa and Elaeagnus angustifolia.
Semi-desert vegetation occupies a small area and is represented by ephemeral-wormwood and grass-wormwood complexes, in which, along with the wormwood (Artemisia taurica, Artemisia lerchiana), saltwarts (Petrosimonia brachiata, Camphorosma monspeliaca, etc.) and ephemers (Poa bulbosa, Lepidium perfoliatum), a large part is taken by steppe grasses (Festuca, Stipa capillata, Agropyrum desertorum). Flora of Barchan Sarykum includes over 300 plant species, including rare and endangered species:Calligonum aphyllum, Isatis sabulosa, Eremosparton aphyllum, Astragalus lehmannianus, etc. A major area of the barchan is occupied by bare sands and the loosely fixed with psammophilous vegetation areas of slopes. Such plants as Elymus giganteus, Artemisia arenaria, Isatis sabulosa, Calligonum aphyllum and others are the first to appear on sandy slopes. Lower slopes are dominated by Artemisia arenaria, and there begin to appear Syrenia sessiliflora, Kochia laniflora, etc. Less thick sandy soils are dominated by Agropyrum Sibiricum, and also there are found Secale sylvestre, Hordeum leporinum, Euphorbia seguieriana, Тeucrium orientale and the evergreen Ephedra distachya. Shrubs on the barchan slopes are represented by Tamarix ramosissima. Because of the accumulation of moisture in the lower layers of sand, the barchan is able to accumulate large amounts of water. Due to this fact, ground waters at the base of the sands stand very high and sometimes come out to the surface. In such places there are developed reedbeds and grow willows, poplars and other trees and shrubs. Tree-shrub artificial forest plantations and natural sparse thickets (with Ulmus, Ailanthus altissima, Populus nigra, Morus, Elaeagnus angustifolia, Robinia, Gleditsia, Pyrus communis, Paliurus spina christi, etc.) occupy quite a large area at the foot of the barchan and in inter-barchan depressions. The left bank of the Shura-Ozen river valley is covered by meadow vegetation (hayfields) and sparse strips of poplars and willows. In Shura-Ozen floodplain in wet areas there are found bands of reeds, and shrub thickets are located on dry rocky banks.
From the south, the barchan borders upon dry rocky slopes of the Narath-Tyube Ridge, with xerophylous shrubs (Tragacantha, Atraphaxis, Rhamnus pallasii, etc.). At the base of these ridge slopes, from the west side, there are fescue-feather grass steppes of plakors and covered with shrubs sandy steppes at the foot of the barchan. From the eastern side of the ridge there are dense shibliak thickets (with the procumbent juniper), sparse pine forests and open woodlands. Along the base of the slopes it lies a clay hilly plain with the wormwood-grassy vegetation.