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

Citrus sinensis ‘Like St. Michael’s’

This is presumably a cultivar of Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck. For further information see Citrus sinensis ‘St. Michael’s’. I have no specific information on this cultivar.



Added on May 04 2010

Strelitzia reginae Banks ex Dryand. var. juncea (Ker-Gawl.) H.E.Moore

See Strelitzia reginae Banks ex Dryand. for a description of the species.  Juncea is a form with rush-like leaves without leaf-blades, green spathes and flowers with orange calyces and blue corollas from winter to spring.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 

Added on January 20 2009

Prunus armeniaca ‘Turkey’

A cultivar of Prunus armeniaca L. ‘Medium size, nearly round, not compressed. Skin deep yellow; brownish orange next the sun, and spotted. Flesh pale yellow, firm, juicy, sweet, and pleasantly sub-acid, separating from the stone. Stone large, rugged, and impervious. Kernel sweet. Middle of August. [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.42/1860].



Added on April 20 2010

Pinus taeda L.

Fully-hardy evergreen tree with bluish young shoots, long, slender, flexible and slightly twisted leaves, to 25cm long, and oblong cones, to 10cm long.  To about 20m.  Cultivated for timber and occasionally naturalised around plantations.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers’, FNSW].

Added on July 24 2009

Verbena phlogiflora Chan.

Half-hardy, erect or spreading, branching perennial with lance-shaped leaves and terminal spikes of purple, lilac, red or blue flowers in summer.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on April 24 2009

Ranunculus asiaticus L.

Half-hardy, tuberous-rooted perennial buttercups with basal leaves and branching flower stems bearing 1-4 cup-shaped, red, pink, yellow or white flowers with purple-black centres in spring and summer.  To 45cm.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 

Added on January 26 2009

Fuchsia Story’s ‘Queen Victoria’

Story’s ‘Queen Victoria’ had ‘splendid wide sepals, beautifully reflexed, of a bright scarlet crimson, and a lovely clear white corolla.’  Advertisement from Messrs. E. G. Henderson & Son.  [Gard. Chron. 1855].  

Added on August 19 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 7: The Vintage (Continued)

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI, reproduced in Part 6, dealt with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The vintage is continued in Part 7, letters XII and XIII giving a description of grape harvesting and crushing. The illustration used here is an excellent lithograph showing the grape harvest at the third vineyard at Camden Park in 1878.

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 24, 2010 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 AM

Establishing an Orchard in Colonial Australia

Every Colonial gentleman with a household to maintain needed to keep an orchard of sufficient size to meet the needs of his kitchen and dining table at all times of the year. In 19th century Australia planting trees was an almost entirely manual operation, and establishing an orchard an expensive undertaking. William Macarthur developed a thriving and profitable nursery business in the 1840s, with an extensive and varied catalogue of plants for sale but heavily dependent on trees and shrubs, particularly fruit-bearing trees such as vines, oranges, apples, pears, plums, peaches and apricots. It was in the interests of Macarthur to ensure that the plants he sold were of high quality and that when received by the customer his plants not only survived but thrived and were productive. To this end he published a brief but detailed guide to what needed to be done to ensure that the planting of trees was as successful as possible and provided the best long-term results for his customers.

Published Jun 26, 2010 - 04:30 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2010 - 04:36 PM

Thomas Harris (1885-1948)

Thomas Harris, born in Worcestershire in 1885, was a gardener at Camden Park from 1913 to 1938.

Published Aug 16, 2012 - 11:09 AM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:12 PM

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

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.