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

Catalpa bignonioides Walt.

Fully hardy, spreading tree with ovate, heart-shaped leaves and white flowers, to 5cm across, marked with yellow and brown, in upright panicles in summer, followed by slender pods.  To 15m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].

Added on February 25 2010

Lantana trifolia L.

Frost tender, erect, unarmed shrub with oblong-lance-shaped leaves, to 12cm long, usually whorled, and dense spikes of long-stemmed pink, lavender or violet, rarely white flowers.  To 2m.  [RHSD].

Added on February 16 2010

Fuchsia Banks’ ‘Glory’

‘First Class Certificates were awarded to Mr. Smith for 2 seedling Fuchsias, Glory (Banks’); a fine variety, with scarlet tube and sepals well reflexed, of good substance, corolla violet purple, smooth and even on the edge and stout.’  Report of the National Floricultural Society summer show.  [Gard. Chron. June 19th, 1852].

Added on January 31 2009

Ixia ‘Euphrosgne’

Probably a Camden Park hybrid but no description is extant.

Added on November 10 2009

Rosa ‘Célina’

A Moss rose.  William Paul describes its flowers as deep rosy crimson, shaded with dark purple, a trace of white occasionally tracing the centre of the petal; colour brilliant when newly opened, large and double, form expanded, growth moderate.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888, 1903)].



Added on February 12 2010

Santalum acuminatum (R.Br.) A.DC.

An erect shrub or small tree with lance-shaped leaves and bumerous small flowers in mostly terminal panicles, followed by bright red, rarely yellow, edible sweet fruit, 25mm long.  The seeds or nuts are also edible.  To 6m.  Member of the Sandalwood family from southern and more arid parts of Australia, partially parasitic on the roots of other plants. [FNSW, Wrigley].

Added on March 31 2010

Gladiolus ‘Planti’

A hybrid, Gladiolus x colvilli var. x Gladiolus splendens.  John Bidwill referred to it in a letter to Edward Bowman, 26th October, 1844: ‘The scarlet Gladiolus at Camden is Gladiolus Planti, a seedling from Colvilli/Colvilli by Splendens.  It is I imagine a very poor specimen but the colours are good.’  [MP A4297 p.28].

Added on October 24 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


Camden Park Roses

Roses were very important to the Camden Park gardens, 297 are listed in the Hortus, substantially more than the next largest genus, Camellia with 140 plants.  This brief review summarises the major types of rose grown and discusses the change in profile of roses over the decades from 1843 to 1861. 

Published Feb 13, 2010 - 03:27 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 11:02 AM

Rambles in New Zealand - part 3

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 - 02:11 PM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 07:02 AM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 9: Preparation of Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XVI and XVII describe the manufacture of wine from secondary fermentation to bottling and storage. The illustration used here is Plate 3 from Letters, which illustrates some of the equipment used in the manufacture of wine, described here and in earlier parts.

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 Oct 03, 2010 - 10:34 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:13 AM

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

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.