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

Pyrus communis ‘Marie Louise’

‘Fruit long ovate, something like a Saint Germain, but more angular in its outline, about three inches and a quarter long, and two inches and a half in diameter. Eye open, placed in an oblique, somewhat knobby hollow. Stalk one inch and a half long, obliquely inserted in a small uneven cavity. Skin greenish, but when fully matured of a rich yellow, clouded with light brown russet on the sunny side. Flesh inclining to yellow, perfectly melting, with abundance of saccharine, highly vinous juice. Ripe the beginning and middle of October.’ [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.378/1831].


Added on May 17 2010

Narcissus x medioluteus Mill.

Hybrid of Narcissus poeticus L. x Narcissus tazetta L.  Leaves to about 70cm, and stem to 60cm, bearing usually 2 but occasionally 1 or 3, flowers per stem, with white perianth and shallow, wavy-margined pale yellow corona.  Late flowering.  There are a number of garden varieties.  [RHSD, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Added on May 17 2009

Lampranthus multiradiatus (Jacq.) N.E.Brown

Erect-stemmed succulent with spreading branches, slender, 3-angles leaves with translucent dots, and pale pink flowers.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on October 10 2009

Gladiolus x colvillii Sweet

‘Colvillii’ hybrids are early flowering, with small, widely open flowers, the type having crimson and white flowers and growing to 60cm.  Many cultivars have been produced, with dark pink, yellow or white blooms in late spring.  The ‘Nanus” hybrids, still popular today, were later developed from them.  [RHSD, Hortus, PD].

Added on October 23 2009

Iris species unidentified [1]

An unidentified species, no description.

Added on November 08 2009

Callitris species Swan River

Unidentified, no description.

Added on August 01 2009

Prunus avium ‘St. Margarets’

A cultivar of Prunus avium L. ‘Of the largest size, obtuse heart-shaped, indented and uneven on its surface, and considerably flattened next the stalk; on one side marked with the suture. Skin at first dark red, but changing when fully ripe to dark blackish-purple. Stalk slender, an inch and a half to an inch and three quarters long. Flesh dark purple, adhering firmly to the stone, firm, sweet, and briskly sub-acid. End of July and beginning of August.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.63/1860].

Added on April 22 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 - 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


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 - 03:35 PM | Last updated Aug 14, 2012 - 04:55 PM

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

“The Blight” and the Camden Vineyards

Although the general heading of this collection of essays is ‘William Macarthur on Winemaking’ the two letters and two editorials from the Sydney Herald reproduced here are not from William’s pen. They concern the vine blight and its possible causes but also give an interesting perspective on the vineyards at Camden Park and on the esteem with which the Macarthur’s, particularly William, were held as vine growers as early as 1831. This makes them a worthwhile contribution to the story of the Camden Park wineries.

Published Jul 11, 2011 - 12:27 PM | Last updated Jul 17, 2011 - 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

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.