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

Hosta sieboldii (Pax.) J.Ingram

Fully-hardy, clump-forming perennial with heart-shaped, glaucous, somewhat puckered, leaves and 1m long flower stems with bell-shaped, pale lilac-grey flowers, fading to white, in early summer.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 07 2010

Hyacinthoides non-scripta (L.) Chouard

Fully-hardy vigorous, clump-forming, bulbous perennial with spreading, lance-shaped leaves and one-sided racemes, bent over at the top, of 6-12 pendant, narrowly bell-shaped, scented, mid-blue, occasionally pink or white, flowers.  To 40cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 09 2010

Schotia speciosa Jacq. var. tamarindifolia

For a brief description of the species see Schotia speciosa Jacq.  Tamarindifolia is a variety of Schotia speciosa with much broader, tamarind-like leaves, composed of up to 10 pairs of bluntish, ovate leaflets.  [RHSD].

Added on December 25 2009

Lobelia mucronata Cav.

Half-hardy, upright, herbaceous perennial with oblong to oblongo-lanceolate, toothed leaves and crimson flowers.  To 90cm.  [JD, BM t.3207/1833].

Added on October 01 2009

Royena villosa L.

Scrambling shrub or small tree with a densely leafy crown and yellow flowers, to 10mm long, 1-3 in leaf axils.  To 3m.  [Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park. Schmidt et al].

Added on March 13 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Calliope’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Camden Park bred, seedling 33/51.  ‘French white, with a few crimson splashes and stripes moderate size, quite double, something in the manner of Imbricata alba but fuller.  Petals of good substance, very pretty.’  William Macarthur.  [MP A2948-6].

Added on June 21 2009

Rosa ‘Mathurin Regnier’

Hybrid Perpetual.  ‘Mathurin Regnier’ has rose coloured flowers, and Rivers wrote that it ‘is, if possible, more perfect in shape than [‘William Griffiths’], it is also better in colour.’  This is strong praise as he had previously written that ‘the latter is indeed the most perefectly shaped of any rose known.’  [Rivers (1857, 1863), GC Nov. 29th 1856].



Added on February 12 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


Some Account of the Vineyards at Camden

The vineyards of Camden Park are widely considered to be the first commercial vineyards in Australia. James and William Macarthur were certainly not the first to sell wine for profit or the first to export wine but were pioneers in the development of vineyards intended to produce a profit from the sale of quality wine. Prior to this wine was produced from small vineyards planted primarily for home consumption, with excess sold and sometimes exported.

The first vineyard was small, only one acre in extent, and largely experimental, but the second and third were on a much grander scale. As the closing words of this pamphlet demonstrate, James and William certainly had a vision of what was possible for Australian wine production, as they had previously for fine Merino wool.

‘Whether these Colonies can also hope to provide for the benefit of every class here at home, and at an equally moderate rate another exportable product, remains yet to be seen — so that even the tired artizan, in his hours of relaxation from toil, may not unseldom exclaim, “Go Fetch me a quart of (Australian) Sack.” ’

This short pamphlet outlining the Camden vineyards was produced to accompany samples of wine to the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851.

Published Jan 10, 2011 - 04:54 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2011 - 05:07 PM

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

The Family Amaryllidaceae at Camden Park

Amaryllidaceae was a very significant family of plants in the history of the Camden Park gardens.  The following Essay provides a little background to these important plants.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 05:11 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:54 PM

Australian native plants in the Hortus

Australian native plants were important to the gardening enterprises of Camden Park.  Even today Australian trees such as Araucaria species, Agathis robusta, Brachychiton populneum, Lagunaria pattersonia, Grevillea robusta and several species of palm very much define the landscape of the gardens.  Australian plants, particularly native orchids and ferns, were sent to England in large numbers in exchange for the exotic plants that were so much desired by Macarthur and his fellow colonists.

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 05:22 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:32 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.