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

Calostemma purpureum R.Br. var. luteum

For a description of the species see Calostemma purpureum R.Br.  Very similar to Calostemma purpureum except that it has larger, yellow, or greenish-yellow flowers.  [Baker Am.].  

Added on April 06 2009

Caladenia cucullata Fitzg.

Terrestrial orchid with a small globular tuber and single, lance-shaped leaf, and lemon-scented brown or purple flowers, white inside, in spring.  To 35cm.  [Jones, FNSW, Beadle].

Added on January 26 2010

Helichrysum sesamoides Willd.

Slender erect shrublet with solitary, terminal flower heads and satint white, rose or pale lemon bracts.  To 60cm.  Grows on sandy mountain slopes.  Spring to summer flowering.  [RHSD, Rice].

Added on September 14 2009

Begonia fischeri Otto & A.Dietr.

This may be the plant referred to as Begonia Fischeri by Macarthur.  It was reportedly grown largely for its very ornamental leaves, which are pinkish when young, with a silvery lustre which persists in the old leaves, which turn a delicate yellowish green.  [BM t.3532/1836]. 

Added on January 16 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Miranda’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Camden Park bred, seedling 4/50.  ‘White, with pink and crimson stripes and blotches.  Quite double, petals well formed and regular nearly to centre.  Good.’  William Macarthur.  [MP A2948-6].

Added on June 30 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

Gladiolus x colvillii Sweet

‘Colvillii’ hybrids are early flowering, with small, widely open flowers, the type having crimson and white flowers and growing to 60cm.  Many cultivars have been produced, with dark pink, yellow or white blooms in late spring.  The ‘Nanus” hybrids, still popular today, were later developed from them.  [RHSD, Hortus, PD].

Added on October 23 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


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

Colonial Australian Wines

The following article appeared in The Gardeners’ Chronicle of Saturday, November 25th, 1854. It includes a review of seven wines sent to the proprietors of The Gardeners’ Chronicle from Camden Park by William Macarthur, together with his notes on the wines, the vineyards in which they were produced and the economic conditions pertaining to wine production and sale in Australia. Macarthur’s brief notes, when read with the more detailed essay Some Account of the Vineyards at Camden, extends our knowledge of wine production at Camden but most importantly provides an external (but not necessarily unbiased) view of the quality of the wines.

Published Jun 30, 2011 - 02:12 PM | Last updated Jul 04, 2011 - 09:00 AM

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

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 9: Preparation of Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XVI and XVII describe the manufacture of wine from secondary fermentation to bottling and storage. The illustration used here is Plate 3 from Letters, which illustrates some of the equipment used in the manufacture of wine, described here and in earlier parts.

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 Oct 03, 2010 - 09:34 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:13 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.