Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Camden Park House from the East Lawn. Photography by Leigh Youdale

Selected plants in the Hortus

Dianthus caryophyllus ‘Le Trancendens’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  ‘Le Trancendens’ has ‘bright yellow ground petals, margined with light scarlet, and slightly serrated; a very pretty sort.’  A new picotee in 1849.  [FC p.292/1849].

Added on April 12 2009

Prunus persica ‘Camden Newington’

A Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. cultivar. I have found no description of this peach. Its seed parent was probably ‘Old Newington’ and, given the parentage of other Camden-bred cultivars, it seems likely that its parentage also included the double China peach.


Added on June 03 2010

Camellia japonica ‘Circe’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Camden Park bred, seedling 8/50.  ‘Bright scarlet crimson, perfectly regular, petals good form and substance, perfectly imbricated to very centre.  Small size, good.’  William Macarthur.  [MP A2948-6].  

Added on June 21 2009

Dendrobium schoeninum Lindl.

Half-hardy lithophytic orchid with creeping rhizomes which can grow into large masses on rocks, leaves resembling succulent grass, and branching stems, to 90cm long, bearing 1 or 2 fragrant, greenish-yellow flowers, to 3cm across, with brown-purple stripes, in spring.  It is the southernmost species of dendrobe in Australia.  [Jones, FNSW, Pridgeon, Beadle].

Added on January 25 2010

Hippeastrum species yellowish brown

Unidentified Hippeastrum or related species, flowers yellowish brown in colour.

Added on May 14 2009

Rhododendron javanicum Benn.

A neat shrub or small tree with oblong, dark green, laurel-like leaves and large, compact heads of fleshy, funnel-shaped, rich lemon-coloured to orange, flowers, darker in the centre, approaching to crimson, in winter.  To 3m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Millais].

Added on June 18 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Candidissima’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. The flowers of ‘Candidissima’ are pure white, very double, the petals being regularly arranged, resembling a dahlia.  [ICR].  ‘Flower very large, four inches or more in diameter, full, of a very pure white, petals regularly imbricated, and resemble, very much, those of the double white Camellia, and are in number from seventy to seventy-five, broad, a little crenated at the summit, and diminish in width in proportion as they approach towards the centre.-Magnificent.’  [Berlèse Monography p.47/1838].  Berlèse Iconographie vol.I pl.25/1841.  

Added on June 21 2009


Improvements to Hortus Camdenensis

The Hortus software has been upgraded. This led to some minor errors in the layout of plant names, particularly in the headings of Plant Profile pages but these have now been largely overcome. Improvements are also progressively being made to the content of the Hortus in three main areas, botanical and horticultural history, cross referencing and illustrations. Some enhancements will be done as the opportunity arises but most will be completed family by family. This will take at least two years to complete.


Published Sep 14, 2010 - 04:06 PM | Last updated Aug 12, 2012 - 04:36 PM

Sir William Macarthur on Vines and Vineyards

Sir William Macarthur wrote extensively on vines and Vineyards. It is our intention to publish all his writings in the Hortus.

Published Aug 01, 2010 - 04:58 PM | Last updated Oct 04, 2010 - 04:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.

Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 05:19 PM

Open House and Gardens

Camden Park House and Gardens will be open to the public on Saturday 22nd September, 2012, from 12.00 noon until 4.00 pm, and Sunday 23rd from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm.

Published Dec 30, 2009 - 02:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 05:31 PM


Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 9: Preparation of Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XVI and XVII describe the manufacture of wine from secondary fermentation to bottling and storage. The illustration used here is Plate 3 from Letters, which illustrates some of the equipment used in the manufacture of wine, described here and in earlier parts.

The entire book is reproduced in the Hortus in ten parts. For background information and Macarthur’s Introduction to the book see Part 1.


Published Oct 03, 2010 - 10:34 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:13 AM

Camden Park Roses

Roses were very important to the Camden Park gardens, 297 are listed in the Hortus, substantially more than the next largest genus, Camellia with 140 plants.  This brief review summarises the major types of rose grown and discusses the change in profile of roses over the decades from 1843 to 1861. 

Published Feb 13, 2010 - 03:27 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 11:02 AM

Thomas Harris (1885-1948)

Thomas Harris, born in Worcestershire in 1885, was a gardener at Camden Park from 1913 to 1938.

Published Aug 16, 2012 - 11:09 AM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:12 PM

Edmund Blake - Gardener

Edmund Blake is important in the history of Camden Park gardens, where he was employed as a gardener from 1837 until probably at least 1867.  William Macarthur named three hybrid plants in his honour, Passiflora  ‘Blakei’, Gladiolus ‘Blakei’ and Erythrina ‘Blakei, testament to the high regard in which he was held.  Erythrina ‘Blakei’ has survived to this day. It is a magnificent shrub worthy of a place in any large garden.

Published Apr 03, 2010 - 03:35 PM | Last updated Aug 14, 2012 - 04:55 PM

About the Hortus

The Hortus attempts to correctly identify, describe, illustrate and provide a brief history of all the plants grown at Camden Park between c.1820 and 1861.

Plants in the Hortus

The Hortus plants served a wide range of purposes: ornament, living fences, fibre, dyestuffs, medicine, food from the garden and orchard, and many others.

Plant Families

Plants in the Hortus are grouped by Family, perhaps the most useful of the higher order classifications.


Essays enhance the Hortus by providing a level of detail about the gardens, people, and plants that would be inappropriate for an individual plant profile.

Hortus News

News provides an opportunity for people interested in the gardens to keep in touch with the work being done to maintain and reinvigorate the gardens and receive advance notice of events such as Open Garden days.