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

Prunus avium ‘Bleeding Heart’

A cultivar of Prunus avium L. Above medium size, heart-shaped, broad at the stalk, and terminating at the apex in an acute, swollen point. Skin entirely covered with bright red. Stalk two inches long, slender. Flesh yellowish white, half-tender, juicy, and sweet. Beginning and middle of July. [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.55/1860 as ‘Gascoigne’s Heart’].


Added on April 22 2010

Camellia japonica ‘Haylockii’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. ‘Paeony form with 14-18 petals in 2 rows, inner petals small, twisted and confused.  White with an occasional pink stripe.’  [Berlèse, 1840, Monographie ed 2 p.80, 225, quoted in the ICR].  William Herbert does not mention the pink stripes but they are evident in the illustration.  [Berlèse Iconographie vol.II pl.177/1843].

Added on June 22 2009

Hoya bella Hook.

Frost tender spreading to pendant, epiphytic shrub with arching, downy, soft stems, narrowly ovate, fleshy leaves, to 3cm long, and umbels, to 4cm across, of 7-9, star-shaped, sweetly scented white flowers, to 1.5cm across, with red-violet coronas, in summer.  To 45cm by 45cm.  [RHSE].

Added on February 23 2010

Nolana humifusa (Gouan) Johnst.

Half hardy spreading perennial with lilac-blue flowers with white, lilac-blue streaked, throats in summer.  To 15cm spreading.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on February 12 2009

Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum (F.Michx.) Desmarais

Large tree with deeply furrowed black bark and 3-lobed leaves.  To 40m.  [RHSD, Hortus]. Distinguished from the Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum Marsh which see, by the 5-lobed leaves of the latter.

Added on February 19 2009

Thunbergia chrysops Hook.

Frost tender annual climber with heart-shaped leaves and blue-violet to purple flowers with yellow eyes in early summer.  To 90cm.  [RHSD].

Added on February 15 2009

Gladiolus (x covillii x cuspidatus) x blandus

Three way hybrid, (Gladiolus x colvillii x G. cuspidatus) x Gladiolus carneus.  Camden Park bred but no description is extant.

Added on October 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


Raising Tropaeolum tricolor from seed

If you have tried growing Tropaeolum tricolor from seed you have probably encountered difficulty and obtained a low germination rate.  This was certainly my experience before I took this advice.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 03:33 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 03:38 PM

Memorandum from the Antipodes: Colouring of Grapes

The following Memorandum was submitted to The Gardeners’ Chronicle by William Macarthur in 1854. Although written in response to a particular problem aired in the columns of the newspaper some months earlier, it adds considerably to our understanding of commercial wine production at Camden Park, in particular the preferred grapes and the style of wine best suited to the colonial conditions. We are also given insights into the problems caused by ‘sudden abstraction of labour attending our gold crisis’, which caused considerable disruption of agrarian and other commercial activities in Australia for some years.

Published Jun 30, 2011 - 04:42 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:12 AM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine. Part 1: Introduction

‘Letters’ is an important book in the history of wine production in Australia and this is, I believe, the first time that the full text has been made available outside the major libraries. The value of William Macarthur’s book compared with earlier Colonial publications is that it is written from the perspective of over twenty years of experience of growing grapes and making wine in New South Wales. He does include theory from the pens of European authorities but the bulk of the book is written from personal experience. He is in effect saying ‘this is what we have found to work here’.

‘Letters’ is reproduced in 10 parts, beginning with the Introduction, which provides information on the history of the book and gives a synopsis of early experiences of vine importation and wine production.

Published Aug 27, 2010 - 05:50 PM | Last updated Nov 24, 2011 - 02:57 PM

The Fuchsias of Camden Park

The first fuchsia introduced to English gardens in 1788 was a variety of Fuchsia magellanica Lam.  This new plant soon attracted the attention of florists and, stimulated by the regular introduction of new species and varieties from South America, selection and hybridisation saw a rapidly increasing number of named varieties available through the nurseries.  The first record of a fuchsia at Camden Park is Fuchsia conica, which arrived on board the ‘Sovereign’ in February 1831.  By 1857 fifty-eight species, cultivars and hybrids had been recorded as growing in the gardens.

Published Mar 14, 2010 - 10:50 AM | Last updated Jun 24, 2011 - 02:45 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.