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

Ixia viridiflora Lam.

Cormous perennial with linear leaves and spikes of 12 or more bluish-green flowers with blackish centres in spring to early summer.  To 100cm.  [RHSE, CECB, Hortus].

Added on November 14 2009

Livistona inermis R.Br.

Frost hardy, small, unarmed, fan-leaved, solitary palm, rarely exceeding 5m in height, with large, fan-like leaves.  [Wrigley].

Added on March 06 2009

Echeveria species unidentified

Echeveria is a genus of about 150 evergreen succulents and sub-shrubs from dry areas of Northern Central and South America. The usually fleshy leaves are often highly coloured and in rosettes. The flowers are borne on long stalks from the leaf axils.  The genus includes a number of attractive house and border plants.

Added on March 01 2009

Gladiolus liliaceus Houtt.

A variable cormous perennial which bears only three, very long, narrow leaves to each shoot, with stems of 1-6 brown to russet to pink flowers, with pink, red or purple specks.  The flowers change to a blue colour after sunset and back to yellow as the sun rises.  Intensely fragrant in the evening.  To 70cm.  [RHSD, CECB, Hortus].  Rarely cultivated now.  

Added on October 28 2009

Salix triandra L.

A large shrub or small tree with flaky bark and glossy lance-shaped leaves.  Long cultivated in Europe for basket making although not the most important species for this. See Salix viminalis L.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on March 26 2010

Begonia cucullata Willd. var. hookeri (Sweet) L.B.Sm. & B.G.Schub.

Fibrous rooted begonia with green, creeping shoots, becoming erect, with small, round green leaves and ever-blooming white or pinkish flowers.  Many cultivars exist, which are popular garden bedding and pot plants.  To 45cm.  Hookeri varies from the type in that the leaves are not curved at the base.  There are many varieties, reflected in the extensive synonymy.  [RHSD, Hortus, Krempin].

Added on June 20 2009

Commersonia echinata Forst.

‘A low shrub, with tomentose, irregularly-twisted branches.  leaves cordate […].  Flowers small, white, in lateral panicles, coming out opposite the leaves.’  [BM t.1813/1816].  ABR t.603/1810.

Added on March 12 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 2: Climate and Soil

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters I and II deal with climate, site and soil.

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 01, 2010 - 03:26 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:16 AM

Rambles in New Zealand - part 3

Rambles in New Zealand is the only published work of John Carne Bidwill of any length and an important document in the early colonial history of that country.
It is included in the Hortus for a number of reasons but mainly because, together with his letters to The Gardeners’ Chronicle, it completes the known published works of Bidwill. His importance in the history of the Camden Park gardens and the lack of any substantive treatment of his life and achievements make it appropriate to include all his published work here.
Rambles is published here in four parts:
Part 1 – dedication, Preface, pages 1-29
Part 2 – pages 30-59
Part 3 – pages 60-89
Part 4 – pages 90 -93, List of Subscribers

Published Feb 29, 2012 - 02:11 PM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 07:02 AM

Colonial Australian Wines

The following article appeared in The Gardeners’ Chronicle of Saturday, November 25th, 1854. It includes a review of seven wines sent to the proprietors of The Gardeners’ Chronicle from Camden Park by William Macarthur, together with his notes on the wines, the vineyards in which they were produced and the economic conditions pertaining to wine production and sale in Australia. Macarthur’s brief notes, when read with the more detailed essay Some Account of the Vineyards at Camden, extends our knowledge of wine production at Camden but most importantly provides an external (but not necessarily unbiased) view of the quality of the wines.

Published Jun 30, 2011 - 02:12 PM | Last updated Jul 04, 2011 - 09:00 AM

A Few Words on Gesneraceous Plants

The family Gesnereaceae was an important contributor to the diversity of the colonial garden of Camden Park, with 97 plants described in the Hortus, mainly from the genera Achimenes and Sinningia. This short article provides a good overview of the history of Gesneriads as garden plants, and some very useful advice on their culture. Unfortunately I have lost the source reference, but the content suggests that it was written for an Australian colonial readership. The article is simply signed L.W.

Published Jun 26, 2010 - 03:01 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2010 - 03:19 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.