The frontispiece selected for this number is a photograph made during a visit by Leyden botanists to the nestor of Malaysian botany, Dr C.A. Backer, at Heemstede, who celebrated his 85th birthday, September 18, 1959. Though now almost confined to his room and his eyesight unfortunately no longer sufficient to dissect plants under the microscope, he is still busy as a bee pursuing literary subjects of study, connected with the use of Latin in botany, of which he has an almost unrivalled knowledge. It is a blessing to him that his mind is as sharp and clever and his memory as good as before. During visits of his juniors he cannot leave out teaching, in which Latin is the main theme, especially the proper pronunciation of plant names; we always wonder what the Romans would have thought in hearing our ignorance of their language. When the photograph was taken by Dr Ding Hou he was just cracking one of his jokes, of the usual sharp kind. We are happy to have him still with us, humbly remembering the very large amount of exemplary and critical work he performed on the Javanese flora from which we daily profit. The main activities of the Flora Malesiana since the last Bulletin were concerned with the printing and preparation of two instalments, viz the first of the fern series by Dr Holttum, which was published in December 1959, and the first of volume 6 of the Phanerogams, which was nearly ready for the press at that date.