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.

Plants in the Hortus

Many of the plants described here were listed in the catalogues of plants published by Sir William Macarthur in 1843, 1845, 1850 and 1857 and in an unpublished catalogue dated 1861. A large number of additional plants were identified from correspondence, gardening notebooks and other documents surviving in the archives. The Hortus attempts to describe all the plants grown in the gardens at Camden Park and those grown in horticultural enterprises such as orchards and vineyards and includes plants grown outside the gardens in the park-like environs of the Camden Park estate. The Hortus plants served a wide range of purposes in the 19th century household; as ornament, living fences, fibre, dyestuffs, medicines, food and drink from the garden, orchard and vineyard and many others.

Achimenes erecta ‘Superba’

Presumably a cultivar of Achimenes erecta (Lam.) H.P.Fuchs var. rosea, synonym Achimenes rosea Lindl. It is not listed in the Gesneriad Register –Achimenes.  It may be synonymous with A. coccinea (Scop.) Pers. ‘Superba', described as ‘fine, deep scarlet, with slight marks down the centre of the petals, somewhat larger than A. coccinea.  [MB p.124/1847].  A. coccinea (Scop.) Pers. is another synonym of A. erecta.

Achimenes grandiflora DC.

Frost-tender, erect, rhizomatous perennial, with leaves dark green above and flushed red beneath, and solitary or paired, reddish-purple flowers with white eyes and purple-dotted throats, from summer to autumn.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Achimenes grandiflora DC. var. liebmannii (Lem.) Voss

See Achimenes grandiflora DC. for a description of the species.  Similar in growth and habit to Achimenes grandiflora but with vivid rose purple flowers, without the whitish blotch at the throat.  To 45cm.  

Achimenes hirsuta Lindl.

Today Achimenes skinneri and Achimenes hirsuta are regarded as synonymous but they were usually regarded as separate species in the Victorian literature and for that reason are given separate entries here.  [RHSD]. See Achimenes skinneri Lindl. for the principal entry. It seems probable that Achimenes hirsuta and Achimenes skinneri as grown by Macarthur were noticeably different in appearance.

The Botanical Register describes Achimenes hirsuta as resembling Achimenes pedunculata [Benth.] and, like the latter, it bears bulblets in the axils of its leaves and branches.  [BR f.55/1843].  Its red flowers have a deep rose-coloured border, the lobes notched.  Allen describes Achimenes hirsuta with ‘hairy leaves and rose-coloured flowers with a yellow eye’.

Achimenes hirsuta ‘Carmesii’

Achimenes ‘Carmesii’ is a form of Achimenes hirsuta Lindl.  I have found no specific description.  See Achimenes hirsuta Lindl. and Achimenes skinneri Lindl. for further information.

Achimenes longiflora DC.

Frost-tender, free-flowering, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with leaves dark, metallic green above, often flushed red beneath, and violet, or lavender to pale purple flowers with a golden throat and yellow tube, to 6cm long, from summer to autumn.  To 40cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Achimenes longiflora ‘Major’

See Achimenes longiflora DC. for a description of the type.  Major is a variety with metallic green leaves, lavender to pale purple flowers with a golden throat and yellow tube, longer than the type, to 7.5cm long.  [RHSD].  

Achimenes mexicana Benth. & Hook.

Frost-tender rhizomatous perennial with paired, ovate, toothed, hairy leaves, to 12cm long, and flower stems to 60cm, bearing a solitary purple or blue flower with a pale mauve throat and spreading lobes, to 5cm long.  [RHSD].

Achimenes patens Benth.

In growth habit similar to Achimenes longiflora DC. which see.  The solitary flowers are red-violet, flushed with yellow and dotted with violet on the white throat.  To 30cm.  It will flower for many months of the year.  [Moore, Hortus, GRA p.32].

Achimenes pedunculata Benth.

Rhizomatous perennial with a rangy habit and green or purplish stems to 90cm long, leaves heart-shaped at the base, often with a purplish lower surface, and axillary peduncles of 2 nodding flowers, usually towards the ends of the stems, with a vermilion red corolla tube with an orange flush below and a yellow throat, all dotted with dark red.  [Moore, GRA p.33].

Achimenes skinneri Lindl.

Today Achimenes skinneri and Achimenes hirsuta are regarded as synonymous but they were usually regarded as separate species in the Victorian literature and for that reason are given separate entries here.  [RHSD]. The Botanical Register describes Achimenes hirsuta as resembling Achimenes pedunculata [Benth.] and, like the latter, it bears bulblets in the axils of its leaves and branches.  [BR f.55/1843].  Its red flowers have a deep rose-coloured border, the lobes notched.  Allen describes Achimenes hirsuta with ‘hairy leaves and rose-coloured flowers with a yellow eye’.

Achimenes skinneri ‘Grandiflora Maxima’

Probably a cultivar of Achimenes skinneri Lindl. It was described in L’Horticulteur Francais in 1856 but I have not yet traced this description.  [GRA p. 33].  The name suggests a cultivar with larger flowers than the wild type.

Achimenes x sanguinea (Hort. ex Hanst.) Regel ex Hanst.

I have no description of this plant but the name suggests a cultivar or hybrid with a bright red flower.

Achimenes ‘Baumanni Grandiflora’

A cultivar of unknown parentage. ‘Another continental variety; dwarf, and blooms freely.  Each blossom is about an inch across, of a lilac-purple, with a small yellow eye.  Pretty.’  [FC p.4/1851].

Achimenes ‘Chelsonii’

Of unknown parentage. I have no description at present.

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