a steppe in the Southern Urals, in Orenburg Oblast, RSFSR. Situated in the basins of the Ural and Samara rivers (the Samara is a tributary of the Volga), the Orenburg Steppe has elevations ranging from 80 to 100 m in the Ural Valley and elevations to 300 m along the watersheds.
The northern part of the Orenburg Steppe has ordinary chernozems, on which have developed mixed grass, sod, and cereal vegetation. There is a predominance of dropwort, the burnet Sanguisorba officinalis, fescue grass, and the feather grass Stipa Krascheninnikowii. South of the Ural River, on southern chernozems, grow various feather grasses, couch grass, and the meadowgrass Poa stepposa. Further south dry, sod, and cereal vegetation grows on dark chernozems. There is a considerable admixture of wormwood. Many parts of the Orenburg Steppe have been cultivated.