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 australis (Mudie) Planch.

Spiny, open shrub with elliptic leaves, to 5cm long, and fragrant white flowers, to 2cm across, followed by edible green fruits, to 6cm across.  [Wrigley].

Added on April 02 2010

Dianthus caryophyllus ‘Duke of Roxborough’

For generic information on the garden carnation see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  ‘Duke of Roxborough’ is probably Barnard’s ‘Duke of Roxborough’, a crimson bizarre carnation.  ‘A large flower, but not quite so clean in the white when I saw it as I could wish.’  [FC p.254/1842].

Added on April 08 2009

Zephyranthes minuta (Kunth) D.Dietr.

It is possible that the plant listed in the catalogues as Zephyranthes rosea is Zephyranthes minuta (Kunth) D.Dietr., synonym Zephyranthes rosea Hort. This plant was known commonly in the nursery trade as Zephyranthes grandiflora (another synonym) from the early to mid 19th century and was often confused with Zephyranthes rosea Lindl. in the trade [Hortus]. It is a bulbous perennial with narrowly strap-shaped leaves, erect and spreading, and rose pink flowers.  It has longer, brighter pink flowers than the true Z. rosea.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on May 16 2009

Premna integrifolia L.

Tree with ovate leaves. sometimes toothed, to 8cm long. and loose panicles of strongly scented greenish-white flowers in spring.  To 3.5m.  [RHSD].

Added on July 10 2009

Mimulus ‘Smithii’

‘Flowers of this beautiful plant were put into our hands last autumn by Mr. George Smith, nurseryman of Islington, who informed us he had raised it between  M. variegatus, fertilized by M. luteus rivularis.  It is a hardy plant, with all the habit of M. luteus rivularis, and no doubt the same cultivation as that species.’  As figured it has yellow flowers with large red blotches at the tips of the petals, and spotted red in the throat.  [BR f.1674/1834].  Introduced in 1832.  [PD].  

Added on January 29 2009

Nerium oleander ‘Lutescens’

A cultivar of Nerium oleander L. Camden Park bred.  William Macarthur described lutescens as ‘a new pale yellow sort raised by us from seed and very pretty.’  See Nerium oleander ‘Albo Pleno’ for more information on this plant.


Added on June 03 2009

Dahlia ‘Red Perfection’

M’Kenzie’s ‘Perfection’, with red flowers, was offered for sale by Hugh Low and Co. of Upper Clapton, London, in 1841.  [Gard. Chron. 1841].  This may well be ‘Red Perfection’.  I have found no detailed description.

Added on April 21 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


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

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

Australian native plants in the Hortus

Australian native plants were important to the gardening enterprises of Camden Park.  Even today Australian trees such as Araucaria species, Agathis robusta, Brachychiton populneum, Lagunaria pattersonia, Grevillea robusta and several species of palm very much define the landscape of the gardens.  Australian plants, particularly native orchids and ferns, were sent to England in large numbers in exchange for the exotic plants that were so much desired by Macarthur and his fellow colonists.

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 05:22 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:32 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine. Part 1: Introduction

‘Letters’ is an important book in the history of wine production in Australia and this is, I believe, the first time that the full text has been made available outside the major libraries. The value of William Macarthur’s book compared with earlier Colonial publications is that it is written from the perspective of over twenty years of experience of growing grapes and making wine in New South Wales. He does include theory from the pens of European authorities but the bulk of the book is written from personal experience. He is in effect saying ‘this is what we have found to work here’.

‘Letters’ is reproduced in 10 parts, beginning with the Introduction, which provides information on the history of the book and gives a synopsis of early experiences of vine importation and wine production.

Published Aug 27, 2010 - 05:50 PM | Last updated Nov 24, 2011 - 02:57 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.