The plants of Malaya are among the most fascinating and interesting in the world. The schoolboy can encounter a vast variety of plant-growth in the forest, on the seashore, in the kampong and even in the city. The schoolgirl can make collections for the nature table, or arrange pressed specimens in a book. In Malaya young boys and girls are intensely interested in the world around them. It is for them this book is written, not only to assist them in their examinations but to stimulate their innate interest in plants of all kinds. I hope this book will be of use to their teachers, parents and friends, and to all those who are interested in our Malayan plant heritage.
For those who intend to make a serious study of Malayan Botany in school or at university. I have included a chapter on the naming of plants (Chapter 2). This is one of the important aspects of Botany, and is a subject rarely understood even by senior students. Since I am by profession a cryptogamic botanist, there is considerable emphasis on the lower or flowerless plants: – pond scums, mosses and liverworts, seaweeds and ferns. Their study is all too often neglected in school courses. I hope Chapter 4 to 6 will help teachers who have been looking for an account of lower plants which are found in Malaya. Higher plants are dealt with in Chapter 7-14, and 16 and 17.