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

Penstemon campanulatus Willd. var. pulchellus (Lindl.) Voss

See Pentstemon campanulatus Willd. for details.  The variety pulchellus has white-veined violet or lilac flowers and narrower leaves.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, BR f.1138/1828, as Penstemon pulchellus].  See also BM t.3884/1841.

Added on September 24 2009

Corylus avellana ‘Red Filbert’

A cultivar of Corylus avellana L. ‘Husk hairy, longer than the nut. Nut of medium size, ovate. Shell thick. Kernel full, covered with a red skin.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.132/1860].



Added on April 25 2010

Callitris macleayana (Muell.) Muell.

Half-hardy tree with a spreading crown, fibrous, furrowed bark and a mixture of juvenile and adult leaves, even on mature trees, the glaucous juvenile leaves in whorls of 4, the adult leaves smaller and acutely keeled.  To 20m, rarely as tall as 45m.  [RHSD, FNSW].

Added on July 29 2009

Brunonia australis R.Br.

Half hardy perennial rock plant with hairy leaves to 4.5cm long in a basal rosette, and blue flowers in terminal, pincushion-like heads, to 2.5cm across.  To 25cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on February 05 2009

Epiphyllum ackermanii Haw.

Frost tender, erect, perennial cactus with strap-like, flat, thin, scalloped, fleshy stems, sometimes 3-ribbed, freely branching from the base, and crimson or orange-red flowers with pale yellow-green tubes, to 12cm long, in summer.  To 45cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on March 05 2009

Dianthus caryophyllus Pearson’s ‘Enchanter’

For generic information on the garden carnation see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Pearson’s ‘Enchanter’ is a rose flake carnation.  ‘Guard leaves rather too large in proportion to the others; white good, crowns well, and the colour evenly distributed.’  [Gard. Chron. 1843].

Added on April 09 2009

Lobelia splendens Willd. var. fulgens (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) S.Watson

Borderline frost hardy, clump-forming, rhizomatous perennial with dark red stems and tubular scarlet flowers in late summer.  To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on September 29 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


Florists’ flowers

Floristry, in the 17th, 18th and 19th century meaning of the word, the growing and improvement of flowering plants for the sake of their beauty alone, has a long history in China and Asia but is of relatively recent origin in Europe.  From quite humble beginnings, the small scale leisure activity of artisans and labourers, it attracted the attention of the owners of the great pleasure gardens and botanic gardens of Europe.  Specialised nurseries began to appear to service great and small gardens, providing a means of disseminating the beautiful new varieties which the nurseries were both breeding and obtaining from enthusiastic amateurs.

Published Mar 12, 2010 - 03:41 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 05:30 PM

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

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 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

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.