When Flora Malesiana began, officially in 1950, its aim was to produce a comprehensive survey of an estimated 25,000 plant species in a period of a few decades. On the one hand the Flora had to be concise, on the other hand it had to be “a replacing encyclopedia” for all previously published knowledge. The approach was generally called ‘semi-monographic’, indicating that a certain degree of ‘completeness’ was to be realized in the treatments. Even in 1960, ten years later, the founder, Professor van Steenis wrote in an official report that the period necessary for completion would be 30 years (from 1960 onwards) and that the total size would be equivalent to 20 volumes like volumes I, 4 and I, 5 that had appeared in the first decade. Had Professor van Steenis considered more carefully the actual progress, he would have found that the true figures were another 19 decades in order to complete over 35 volumes! The graph on the preceding page shows the growth of the Flora expressed in numbers of species treated per volume. It is surprising that the original rate has not significantly slowed! For a somewhat more elaborate contemplation on these data and background concepts, see the contribution by Geesink in the Flora Malesiana Symposium Proceedings Volume ‘The Plant Diversity of Malesia’. We are now 40 years later with not yet 20% of the Flora (Phanerogams only) completed and the contents of the first volumes outdated to various degrees. This problem was the subject of a 2-day workshop organized immediately after the Flora Malesiana Symposium held in Leiden from 21-25 August 1989. The discussion papers were given to all participants prior to the workshop.