Notice

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

Callitris species Swan River

Unidentified, no description.

Added on August 01 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Dido’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Camden Park bred, seedling 6/50.  ‘Pure white, moderate size, petals well shaped, not sufficiently numerous, of moderate substance and well formed.’ William Macarthur.  [MP A2948-6].  

Added on June 21 2009

Oncidium cavendishianum Batem.

Frost-tender epiphytic orchid with small pseudobulbs, each with 1 lance-shaped, rigid leaf, to 45cm long, and panicles, to 1.5m or more tall, of fragrant, waxy, yellow flowers, to 4cm across, with red spots and yellow lips, in spring.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Pridgeon, Hortus, Jennings].

Added on January 26 2010

Platanus occidentalis L.

Large tree with shallowly five-lobed leaves, mottled bark, the fruit balls usually single or in pairs and smoother than most other species.  To 50m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on March 24 2009

Ferraria crispa Burm.

Cormous perennial with linear-lance-shaped, stem-clasping leaves, to 30cm long, and upward-facing, yellowish-brown, spotted flowers, or uniformly brown flowers with a lighter edge, to 2.5cm across, in spring.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB].  

Added on October 19 2009

Daphne odora Thunb.

Frost hardy, rounded, evergreen shrub with inversely lance-shaped leaves and terminal or axillary clusters of 10-15, fragrant, deep purple-pink and white flowers, to 1.5cm across, from winter to spring.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on March 06 2010

Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich. var. nutans (Ait.) Endl.

An upright tree with the trunk expanded at the base, a conical to columnar crown, and short- triangular branches. The variety nutans is deciduous, the shoots strongly erect at first, then with pendulous tips.  See also see Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on August 07 2009

News

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

Essays

Camellias at Camden Park

Most of the camellias grown at Camden Park are cultivars of Camellia japonica L., the ‘Common camellia’, a native of China, Korea and Japan.  The first plant introduced to Britain in 1739, and figured in Curtis's Botanical Magazine [BM t.42/1788], is close to the wild type.  It bears single red flowers in early spring but is rarely planted now and was not grown at Camden Park.  William Macarthur was an important breeder of camellias and many of the cultivars described in the Hortus were bred by him.  Unfortunately few of these have survived.  

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 02:43 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:46 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

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

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 - 10:50 AM | Last updated Jun 24, 2011 - 02:45 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

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.