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

Syncarpha vestita (L.) B.Nord.

Erect soft-wooded shrub with white everlasting flowers with papery bracts.  Found mountain tops in sandy soils.  Spring to summer flowering.  To 60cm.  [Rice pl.LXXXIV].

Added on September 14 2009

Gladiolus ‘Prince of Orange’ [#2]

Camden Park hybrid. (Gladiolus cardinalis x G. tristis) x Gladiolus x gandavensis hybrid.  One of these hybrids was also named ‘Prince of Orange.  ‘No.9.  Cardinali tristi Gandavensis (No.25).  Tall robust scape large well shaped flowers, of fine orange and scarlet, with dark carmine feathered blotches on lower lobes.  [word indistinct] good and like Prince of Orange.’  The name ‘Prince of Orange’ was also written in pencil in the margin.  I am unsure of the relationship between this plant and the Gladiolus x ‘Prince of Orange’ of the catalogues.

Added on October 21 2009

Eugenia uniflora L.

Frost-tender shrub or small tree with ovate-lance-shaped leaves, to 10cm, and solitary, fragrant white flowers, usually at the base of young shoots, followed by edible red to black fruits, 3cm across.  To 7m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on January 17 2010

Cymbidium simulans Rolfe

Cymbidium orchid with pendulous, many flowered racemes of yellowish flowers with a central purplish stripe.  Often confused with Cymbidium aloifolium (L.) Sw.  [RHSD].  

Added on January 24 2010

Podalyria calyptrata Willd.

Half-hardy shrub with elliptic, grey-green leaves, to 5cm, and light pink to lavender-purple flowers with a white keel, to 4cm across, in spring and summer.  To 3m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on December 24 2009

Callitris oblonga Rich. subsp. oblonga

Frost-hardy, evergreen, symmetrical shrub or small tree with erect branches, a dense crown, keeled leaves, and ovoid, shiny black female cones, to 2cm, single or in small groups.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers', FOA].

Added on July 29 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Celia’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Camden Park bred, seedling 53/52.  ‘Bright crimson, much the colour of Marina, smallish size, petals good substance, outer two rows large, inner smaller and crowded, arranged in form of the heart of a cabbage. Tolerably good.’  William Macarthur.  [MP A2948-6].  

Added on June 21 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 - 03:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.

Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 04:19 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 - 01:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 04:31 PM


Establishing an Orchard in Colonial Australia

Every Colonial gentleman with a household to maintain needed to keep an orchard of sufficient size to meet the needs of his kitchen and dining table at all times of the year. In 19th century Australia planting trees was an almost entirely manual operation, and establishing an orchard an expensive undertaking. William Macarthur developed a thriving and profitable nursery business in the 1840s, with an extensive and varied catalogue of plants for sale but heavily dependent on trees and shrubs, particularly fruit-bearing trees such as vines, oranges, apples, pears, plums, peaches and apricots. It was in the interests of Macarthur to ensure that the plants he sold were of high quality and that when received by the customer his plants not only survived but thrived and were productive. To this end he published a brief but detailed guide to what needed to be done to ensure that the planting of trees was as successful as possible and provided the best long-term results for his customers.

Published Jun 26, 2010 - 04:30 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2010 - 04:36 PM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 4

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 - 01:37 PM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 06:01 AM

Thomas Harris (1885-1948)

Thomas Harris, born in Worcestershire in 1885, was a gardener at Camden Park from 1913 to 1938.

Published Aug 16, 2012 - 11:09 AM | Last updated Aug 16, 2012 - 12:09 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 5: Management and Replenishment of the Vineyard

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters VII and VIII deal with the management of the vineyard after planting, the use of manures and the replenishment of an exhausted vineyard. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 2, a section of a vineyard. This is referred to in detail in Part 4, however it does illustrate the method of vine culture recommended and described here, the dwarf-standard method which at this time was practiced mostly in the north of France.

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 09, 2010 - 05:49 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 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.