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

x Amarygia parkeri ‘Blando-Josephiniana’

A cultivar of x Amarygia parkeri (W.Watson) H.E.Moore. I have seen no descriptions of this cross in flower.  As a first generation cross between Amaryllis belladonna L. var. blanda and Brunsvigia josephinae it would presumably have resembled other clones of this cross, ‘Ameliae’ for example, which see.  It perhaps would have resembled the ‘Kew Belladonna’ described in detail in the Botanical and Horticultural History section, although the origin of this cross, the type x Amarygia parkeri, is still not fully understood.  For illustration I have used a beautiful form of x Amarygia which grows at Camden Park and very much resembles the first colour depiction of x Amarygia of which I am aware, a water colour painted by Miss Fletcher at Camden Park in 1866. 


Added on January 14 2009

Rosa ‘Red Moss’

The flowers of the ‘Red Moss Rose’ are semi-double, middle-sized and pale red or deep pink in colour.  [Gore, Rivers (1854), Paul (1848, 1888)].



Added on February 10 2010

Urginea maritima (L.) Bak.

Half-hardy bulbous perennial producing dense racemes of many tiny, star-shaped white flowers in late summer and autumn, followed by erect, narrow basal leaves.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 09 2010

Stemona tuberosa Lour.

Frost tender, tall-growing twining plant with pointed, somewhat heart-shaped leaves and bell-shaped, greenish pink or yellow flowers in summer.  [RHSD].

Added on March 25 2009

Sinningia speciosa ‘Carminata’

A cultivar of Sinningia speciosa (Lodd.) Hiern. I have found no description and carminata is not listed in the Gesneriad Register – Sinningia although ‘Carminata Splendens’, which see, is.

Added on September 03 2009

Rhododendron indicum Sweet var. magnifica

Azalea magnifica, a hybrid bred by Messrs. Rollinson about 1857, is figured in the Illustration Horticole with large single white flowers, the upper petals shown with a brilliant orange centre, all shaded with crimson.  [IH pl.209/1859].  The variety alba magnifica is figured in the Floricultural Cabinet: ‘This is an admirable pure white variety, of exquisite form, and the petals of thick substance.’  [FC p.69/1852].  Galle considers Rollinson’s ‘Magnifica’ to be a ‘Mucronatum’ cultivar.  [See Rhododendron indicum Sweet var. alba].  

Added on June 04 2009

Phlogacanthus asperulus Wall.

Frost tender, erect shrub with quadrangular stems, large, opposite, elliptic leaves, toothed towards the apex, and a terminal flower spike bearing purplish-red, funnel-shaped flowers, curved and inflated near the top, in winter.  To 1m.  [RHSD].

Added on February 22 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


Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 7: The Vintage (Continued)

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI, reproduced in Part 6, dealt with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The vintage is continued in Part 7, letters XII and XIII giving a description of grape harvesting and crushing. The illustration used here is an excellent lithograph showing the grape harvest at the third vineyard at Camden Park in 1878.

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 24, 2010 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 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

A Few Words on Gesneraceous Plants

The family Gesnereaceae was an important contributor to the diversity of the colonial garden of Camden Park, with 97 plants described in the Hortus, mainly from the genera Achimenes and Sinningia. This short article provides a good overview of the history of Gesneriads as garden plants, and some very useful advice on their culture. Unfortunately I have lost the source reference, but the content suggests that it was written for an Australian colonial readership. The article is simply signed L.W.

Published Jun 26, 2010 - 03:01 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2010 - 03:19 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

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.