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

Rhododendron lepidotum Wall.

A very variable, shrubby rhododendron with scaly leaves, to 4cm long, and saucer-shaped, scaly, pale yellow, pink or purple flowers in spring.  To 1.2m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers', Millais].

Added on June 18 2009

Commelina graminifolia Sessé & Moc. var. stricta (Desf.) C.B.Clarke

‘Apparently very similar to C. tuberosa and C. coelestis, but perhaps distinguishable from the former in habit and in the narrower obovate-oblong sepals, and from the latter, more obviously, by the narrow, and elongate leaves.’  [J. F. Macbride - Flora of Peru part 1, no.3, p.604/1936].  

Added on February 01 2009

Conanthera species white

Conanthera is a genus of 5 recognised species of bulbous perennials from Chile.  Most species have purple flowers although Conanthera campanulata Lindl., which see for more detail, occurs naturally in a white flowered form and this is a possibility.  Perhaps a more likely identification is Conanthera parvula (Phil.) M.Muñoz, a species with white flowers with purple markings, or Conanthera urceolatata Rav., a species growing to 5cm with a stout stem and drooping umbel of pinkish-white flowers.  The remaining recognised species are Conanthera bifolia Ruiz & Pav. and C. trimaculata (D.Don) Lindl., both with mauvish-purple flowers.  [].

Added on January 06 2010

Primula sinensis ‘Purpurea’

A cultivar of Primula sinensis Sabine ex Lindl. Half hardy, erect, rosette-forming evergreen perennial with thick stems bearing whorls of decreasing size of wavy-margined purple to pink flowers, to 5cm across and usually with yellow eyes, in winter and early spring.  Purpurea is a pink to purple cultivar.  To 20cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on October 14 2009

Pinus teocote Schied. ex Schldl. & Cham.

Frost-hardy tree with thick, furrowed bark towards the base of the trunk, orange-red to brown and thinner above, needles usually 3 per fascicle, and solitary or paired, ovoid cones, to 9cm.  To 30m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on July 23 2009

Helichrysum robustum Paxt. var. roseum

Elichrysum robustum is a hardy annual usually with white flowers although the variety roseum has pink flowers.  [JD].

Added on September 17 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Nivalis’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L., ‘Nivalis’ has formal, double, medium large white flowers.  [ICR, FC p.154/1836].

Added on June 30 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 8: Fermentation of the Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XIV and XV describe primary and secondary fermentation of the wine. The illustration used here is a photograph of the cellars at Camden Park House.

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 30, 2010 - 05:11 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 AM

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

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 Family Amaryllidaceae at Camden Park

Amaryllidaceae was a very significant family of plants in the history of the Camden Park gardens.  The following Essay provides a little background to these important plants.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 05:11 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:54 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.