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

Chasmanthe aethiopica (L.) N.E.Br.

A shade-loving, clump-forming cormous perennial with lance-shaped leaves and one-sided racemes of red or orange flowers with maroon throats and yellow-striped tubes from spring to early summer.  To 70cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB].  

Added on October 18 2009

Stachytarpheta urticifolia Sims

Frost tender, coarse biennial herb or sub-shrub with slender, weak branches, elliptic leaves, and upright, tail-like inflorescences, to 40cm, of indigo to dark purple flowers with a central white mouth.  To 2m.  [RHSD].

Added on February 16 2010

Mandevilla crassinoda (Gardn.) Woodson.

Frost-tender, vigorous twining climber with lustrous leaves and racemes of deep rose-pink, funnel-shaped flowers in summer.  [RHSD]. 

Added on January 16 2009

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch.

Fully hardy, vigorous, woody climber with palmate leaves composed of usually, 5 sharply-toothed leaflets, turning brilliant red in autumn.  To 15m or more.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on March 07 2009

Angelonia angustifolia Benth.

Frost tender perennial sub-shrub with lance-shaped leaves, to 8cm, and slender racemes of deep mauve to violet flowers in early summer.  To 45cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on February 22 2009

Paphiopedilum barbatum (Lindl.) Pfitzer

Frost tender ground orchid with oblong, light green leaves blotched and spotted with dark green markings, and solitary, whitish ladies’ slipper flowers striped and flushed with purple, in summer.  [RHSD].

Added on January 24 2010

Camellia japonica ‘Lysanthe’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Bred by William Herbert.  Its maternal parent was a seedling from a cross between the ‘old single red’ and a striped camellia.  This seedling was crossed with the ‘myrtle-leafed variety’, presumably C. myrtifolia of the catalogues.  It has flowers of bright carmine colour, with stripes of pale pink running down the centre of each petal.  The flowers are cupped, the outer petals falling back when fully expanded.  [Gard.Chron. 1843, ICR].

Added on June 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


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

Camden Park Nursery Group

We are a small voluntary group helping to maintain and preserve the historic Camden Park gardens. There are regular meeting days, currently Tuesday and Saturday but this can be varied, but most members contribute through Working Bees held typically every third Sunday.

Published Jun 27, 2010 - 04:16 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 04:32 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

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

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.