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

Hymenaea courbaril L.

Frost tender, evergreen tree with pointed, oblong-ovate leaves and large yellow, purple-striped flowers.  To 20m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on December 23 2009

Yucca aloifolia L. var. draconis (L.) Engelm.

For details of the species see Yucca aloifolia L.  The variety draconis has a branched trunk and drooping leaves.  It may be synonymous with Yucca aloifolia pendula listed by Paxton's and Johnson's Dictionary.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Added on January 22 2009

Jasminum nudiflorum Lindl.

Half-hardy, slender deciduous shrub with arching shoots bearing solitary, salverform, bright yellow flowers in winter/spring, before the leaves.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on January 20 2010

Aeschynanthus longicaulis Wall. ex R.Br.

Frost-tender. Semi-trailing perennial with oval, light green leaves, with dark marbling above and red beneath, and solitary, axillary, greenish-yellow flowers, with maroon-or brown-tinged throats, from summer to winter.  To 60cm by 90cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on August 28 2009

Achimenes patens Benth.

In growth habit similar to Achimenes longiflora DC. which see.  The solitary flowers are red-violet, flushed with yellow and dotted with violet on the white throat.  To 30cm.  It will flower for many months of the year.  [Moore, Hortus, GRA p.32].

Added on August 26 2009

Rosa multiflora Thunb. var. rubra

The Gardeners’ Chronicle of 1841 describes Rosa multiflora rubra growing at Woods and Son’s Nursery at Marsfield as a small, compact bush with rose-coloured flowers, clearly a dwarf form.  While possible that both of the ‘multiflora’ roses in the catalogues are dwarf roses, white and pink in colour, they are more likely to be climbers.  [See the note on Shepherd’s Nursery in Rosa multiflora Thunb. var. alba].

Added on February 10 2010

Chiranthodendron pentadactylon Larreat.

Tender evergreen tree downy stems, 5- to7-lobed palmate leaves and solitary, axillary, reddish, downy flowers with very prominent 5-lobed stamens, somewhat resembling a hand.  To 10m or more.  [RHSD].

Added on April 01 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 - 03:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.

Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 04:19 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 - 01:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 04:31 PM


Memorandum from the Antipodes: Colouring of Grapes

The following Memorandum was submitted to The Gardeners’ Chronicle by William Macarthur in 1854. Although written in response to a particular problem aired in the columns of the newspaper some months earlier, it adds considerably to our understanding of commercial wine production at Camden Park, in particular the preferred grapes and the style of wine best suited to the colonial conditions. We are also given insights into the problems caused by ‘sudden abstraction of labour attending our gold crisis’, which caused considerable disruption of agrarian and other commercial activities in Australia for some years.

Published Jun 30, 2011 - 04:42 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:12 AM

The Fuchsias of Camden Park

The first fuchsia introduced to English gardens in 1788 was a variety of Fuchsia magellanica Lam.  This new plant soon attracted the attention of florists and, stimulated by the regular introduction of new species and varieties from South America, selection and hybridisation saw a rapidly increasing number of named varieties available through the nurseries.  The first record of a fuchsia at Camden Park is Fuchsia conica, which arrived on board the ‘Sovereign’ in February 1831.  By 1857 fifty-eight species, cultivars and hybrids had been recorded as growing in the gardens.

Published Mar 14, 2010 - 09:50 AM | Last updated Jun 24, 2011 - 02:45 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

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

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.