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

Sarcochilus olivaceus Lindl.

Frost-tender epiphytic orchid with short, thick stems, sickle-shaped leaves, to 14cm long, and axillary racemes of up to 11, olive green to golden flowers, up to 3.5cm across, in spring.  [RHSD, Jones, FNSW, Beadle].

Added on January 26 2010

Iris fulva Ker-Gawl.

Fully-hardy rhizomatous, beardless Louisiana iris with slender, slightly zigzag stems bearing 4-6 copper- or orange-red flowers in late spring.  To 80cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Added on October 30 2009

Cestrum elegans (Brong. ex Neumann) Schltdl.

Frost tender, vigorous, evergreen shrub with alternate, softly hairy, oblong leaves, to 12cm long, and axillary and terminal cymes of tubular to funnel-shaped, vivid orange flowers in autumn, followed by black berries.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hilliers', Hortus].

Added on February 27 2010

Ipomoea pes-caprae (L.) R.Br. subsp. brasiliensis (L.) Ootstr.

Vigorous, prostrate trailing plant with emarginate or two-lobed leaves and mauve-purple flowers.  [FNSW, Wrigley, Beadle].

Added on October 04 2009

Berberis macrophylla Hort. Ex Lindl.

A hairless shrub with lance-shaped leaves and fascilcles of 12 or more yellow flowers.  To 3m or more.  [BM t.9283/1935].

Added on February 24 2010

Rhododendron x gandavensis ‘Punicea’

This is likely to be one of the early Ghent hybrids, known collectively as Rhododendron x gandavensis Hort. See Rhododendron x gandavensis ‘Gloria-mundi’ for further details. I have found no specific description of puniceasAzalea hybridae-belgicae punicea is listed in both the 1830 and 1836 Loddiges’ Nursery catalogues, copies of which are held at Camden Park [CPA].

Added on June 18 2009

Gladiolus carneus Delaroche

A variable, slender cormous plant with lance-shaped leaves and lax, sometimes branched, spikes of usually 3-8 funnel-shaped, cream, white or pink flowers, flaked with purple or yellow, in spring.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, CECB, Hortus].

Added on October 25 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 Nursery Group

We are a small voluntary group helping to maintain and preserve the historic Camden Park gardens. There are regular meeting days, currently Tuesday and Saturday but this can be varied, but most members contribute through Working Bees held typically every third Sunday.

Published Jun 27, 2010 - 04:16 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 04:32 PM

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

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

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 2: Climate and Soil

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters I and II deal with climate, site and soil.

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 01, 2010 - 03:26 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:16 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.