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

Spiraea corymbosa Raf.

Fully-hardy, sparsely branched shrub with broadly elliptic leaves, to 7.5cm, often serrated at the tips, and rounded corymbs of white flowers.  To 1m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on February 06 2010

Iris sibirica L. var. orientalis

A rhizomatous, beardless, Siberian iris with red-purple flowers.  See Iris sibirica L. var. flexuosa for a description of the type Iris siberica.  [RHSE, Dykes, Hortus].  

Added on November 02 2009

Phycella herbertianum Lindl.

Bulbous perennial with bright red flowers with a long tube and narrow segments, borne on 4-6 flowered umbels contemporary with the 3-4 narrow, strap-shaped leaves.  [Baker Am.].

Added on May 15 2009

Callistemon speciosus DC.

An erect, open shrub with lance-shaped leaves, to 15cm long, and dense, bottlebrush spikes of deep red flowers, to 15cm long, from spring to autumn.  To 4m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on January 17 2010

Rosa ‘Chénêdolé’

Usually classified as a Bourbon rose, although Paul described it as a Hybrid China in the first edition of The Rose Garden.  ‘Chénêdolé’ has very large, very double, vermilion-crimson flowers of cupped shape.  Very thorny, it is a vigorous grower of erect habit and makes a good standard.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888, 1903), Rivers (1854, 1857, 1863)].

Added on February 12 2010

Pistacia lentiscus L.

Half hardy, evergreen, resinous, aromatic shrub or small tree, with pinnate leaves, to 10cm long, composed of up to 7 pairs of leaflets, and dense panicles, to 3cm long, of male flowers, and looser panicles, to 6cm long, of brownish green female flowers, to 6cm long, in spring and summer, followed by blackish fruits.  To 3m by 3m. [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on March 16 2010

Passiflora edulis Sims var. middletoniana

Passiflora Middletoniana is figured in Paxton’s Magazine of Botany.  It has fragrant flowers with pale green calyx and segments, with numerous pink dots inside.  The petals are narrower with a whitish ground and similar spotting.  The crown consists of 2 rows of beautiful purple and white filaments.  [MB p.51/1842].

Added on January 31 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 - 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

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

History of the Florists’ Gloxinia

In the 19th century the florists’ Gloxinia was a very popular plant with hundreds of varieties under propagation.  Out of fashion today, these beautiful and easily grown plants deserve to be revived.  William Macarthur would not have recognised the large, multi-coloured flowers that dominate the show bench today but the plants he grew, predominantly of the slipper, or wild type, were equally beautiful.

Published Mar 14, 2010 - 01:56 PM | Last updated Jul 26, 2011 - 04:59 PM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 4

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 - 02:37 PM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:13 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.