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

Veltheimia capensis (L.) DC.

Frost-tender bulbous perennial with basal rosettes of erect lance-shaped leaves and stout green stems, flecked with purple, with terminal racemes of pendant, tubular, white or pink flowers with red or green markings, in spring.  To 45cm by 30cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Added on January 10 2010

Scilla amoena L.

Bulbous perennial with 4-5 flaccid leaves, to 20cm long and 3-6-flowered racemes of blue or whitish flowers on stems to 15cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].  

Added on January 09 2010

Annona cherimola Mill.

A large and straggling, frost tender, evergreen shrub or small tree with lance-shaped leaves, to 10cm long, fragrant yellow flowers, spotted purple at the base inside, followed by large, edible fruit, to 10cm by 20cm.  To 7m.  

Added on February 23 2009

Callitris oblonga Rich. subsp. oblonga

Frost-hardy, evergreen, symmetrical shrub or small tree with erect branches, a dense crown, keeled leaves, and ovoid, shiny black female cones, to 2cm, single or in small groups.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers', FOA].

Added on July 29 2009

Hibiscus rosa sinensis L.

Frost-tender, rounded, bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree with broadly lance-shaped leaves with toothed margins, to 15cm long, and solitary, 5-petalled, bright crimson flowers, to 10cm across, borne singly from the leaf axils in summer and autumn.  Hibiscus rosa-sinensis simplex is a single-flowered variety, possibly close to the wild crimson form.  To 3m.  Many single and double-flowered cultivars exist in shades of crimson, orange, yellow or white.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 11 2010

Rosa ‘Général Castellane’

Hybrid Perpetual.  In The Gardeners’ Chronicle of 1855 it was described as a newer Hybrid Perpetual, with brilliant velvety crimson flowers, and a profuse late bloomer, not a very robust grower and of somewhat dwarf habit.  Elsewhere it was described as somewhat after ‘Lord Raglan’ in type, very fine and perfect in all aspects.  It was considered moderately resistant to mildew but required good soils to flourish.  [Rivers 1857, Paul 1863, FC p.61/1855].


Added on February 12 2010

Prunus armeniaca L.

A small rounded tree with ovate, toothed leaves and white or pinkish flowers often crowded on short spurs, followed by round yellow fruits, to 5cm across and often red tinged. To 8m. [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].


Added on April 20 2010


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 - 03:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.

Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 04:19 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 - 01:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 04:31 PM


Camden Park Nursery Group

We are a small voluntary group helping to maintain and preserve the historic Camden Park gardens. There are regular meeting days, currently Tuesday and Saturday but this can be varied, but most members contribute through Working Bees held typically every third Sunday.

Published Jun 27, 2010 - 04:16 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 04:32 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 4: Forming the Vineyard and Planting Vines

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters V and VI deal with the formation of the vineyard and planting the vines. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 1, a ground plan for a vineyard. This is probably based on his own third vineyard, commenced c.1830.

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 Sep 05, 2010 - 05:03 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM

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 - 02:35 PM | Last updated Aug 14, 2012 - 04:55 PM

Camellias at Camden Park

Most of the camellias grown at Camden Park are cultivars of Camellia japonica L., the ‘Common camellia’, a native of China, Korea and Japan.  The first plant introduced to Britain in 1739, and figured in Curtis's Botanical Magazine [BM t.42/1788], is close to the wild type.  It bears single red flowers in early spring but is rarely planted now and was not grown at Camden Park.  William Macarthur was an important breeder of camellias and many of the cultivars described in the Hortus were bred by him.  Unfortunately few of these have survived.  

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 01:43 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:46 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.