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

Rosa ‘Coutard’

A Hybrid China rose.  ‘Coutard’ is an abundant bloomer with bright rose-coloured, globular, large and double flowers, its growth somewhat pendulous.  [Gore].  Paul considered it a good rose, its colour lilac rose.  [Paul (1848, 1863)].  It was listed by Thomas Rivers in the Floricultural Cabinet of 1835 as among the earliest roses.  [FC p.241/1835].  Charles Wood Jnr., Woodlands Nursery, Maresfield, also writing in the Floricultural Cabinet in 1841, considered ‘Coutard’ to be one of the most desirable of roses.  [FC p.29/1841].


Added on February 11 2010

Jasminum species unidentified

An unidentified species, no description.

Added on January 20 2010

Erica baccans L.

Half-hardy, robust, erect, many-branched heath with axillary whorls, to 2.5cm long, each with 4 spherical, deep pink flowers, 6mm across, with keeled, dark pink sepals, in winter and spring.  To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 

Added on January 09 2009

Crinum scabro-Macleayi no.11

A Crinum zeylanicum L. x Crinum Macleayi hybrid.  The latter is unidentified but is probably a form of one of the native Australian species, Crinum flaccidum Herb. or Crinum pedunculatum R.Br.

In 1845 and 1846 William Macarthur described ten Crinum scabro-macleayii hybrids in his gardening notebooks.  [MP A2948 Notebook no.4, p.4].

No. 11.  [First word unclear but probably] Like a neat no.5.  Very like no.5.  Scape more slender, flowers fewer. 

Added on May 05 2009

Hovenia dulcis Thunb.

Fully hardy, upright then spreading tree with generally heart-shaped , toothed, glossy leaves, to 20cm long, downy beneath, and cymes, to 7cm across, of tiny, greenish flowers in summer.  After flowering the stalks swell, becoming reddish, and are fleshy, sweet and edible.  To 12m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on March 04 2009

Narcissus tazetta subsp. tazetta L.

Bulbous perennial with sulphur-yellow, spreading perianth segments and cup-shaped, orange-yellow corona, one-third of the length of the segments.  [Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Added on May 20 2009

Pinus maximinoi H.E.Moore

Half-hardy, evergreen, broadly conical tree, becoming domed with age, with smooth bark, pendulous, apple-green leaves borne in fives, to 25cm long, and ovoid cones, to 14cm long.  To 35m.  [RHSD].

Added on July 23 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


Australian native plants in the Hortus

Australian native plants were important to the gardening enterprises of Camden Park.  Even today Australian trees such as Araucaria species, Agathis robusta, Brachychiton populneum, Lagunaria pattersonia, Grevillea robusta and several species of palm very much define the landscape of the gardens.  Australian plants, particularly native orchids and ferns, were sent to England in large numbers in exchange for the exotic plants that were so much desired by Macarthur and his fellow colonists.

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 05:22 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:32 PM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 1

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 - 08:45 AM | Last updated Feb 29, 2012 - 03:08 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

The Family Amaryllidaceae at Camden Park

Amaryllidaceae was a very significant family of plants in the history of the Camden Park gardens.  The following Essay provides a little background to these important plants.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 05:11 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:54 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.