The year 1991 is one of retrospect and prospect. Retrospect, because it is 250 years ago that the first volume of the ‘Herbarium amboinense’ by G.E. Rumphius (1628-1702) finally appeared. Notwithstanding the many commentaries devoted to it, starting with Linnaeus through his student O. Stickman’s Thesis (1754), Merrill’s ‘Interpretation’ to De Wit’s ‘Checklist’ (1959) it is still the only regional flora for the Moluccas. It were to be wished that a small team of botanists well-versed in the Malesian flora and local languages with the tomes in hand would spend some time searching for the Rumphian species, many of which have a doubtful identity, consulting the local dukuns before their lore is lost. A similar project for Rheede’s ‘Hortus malabaricus’ by Nicolson, Suresh and Manilal [Regn. Veget. 119 (1988)] proved very successful.