How many medicinal plant species in Malay Peninsula?
Malaysia is endowed with rich flora, ranking 12th in the world. The flora of Peninsula Malaya is fairly well known and deails are reviewed and published from time to time. Altogether it is estimated that there are about 180 families, 1500 genera and 9000 species of flowering plants. Based on the pioneer work of Ridley on the Flora of the Malay Peninsula, Burkill enumerated the register of medicinal plant species in the well known Dictionary of the Economic products of the Malay Peninsula. The dictionary remains as a standard source of reference even today. The vast literature that Burkill referred to gather the details are briefly summarised as background information. Taxonomic revisions are necessary and inevitable to draw the data up to date on plant wealth. In the process, the status and sizes of families, genera and species are revised, or further divided or regrouped with old or new names. The changes that have been made on local medicinal plant species both in terms of numbers as well as nomenclature are summarized. The results of the present exercise has helped to identify and determine the uses of about 500 (±100) medicinal plant species in Malaya, including the native and introduced ones.