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.

Medicinal Plants

A wide-ranging category, including many of the ancient garden plants. Emphasis is placed on the plants that were probably introduced primarily for their medicinal value.

Acanthus mollis L.

Fully hardy, clump-forming perennial with obovate, deeply-lobed, dark green leaves, and 1m long racemes of white flowers with purple-shaded bracts in summer.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Achillea millefolium L.

Fully hardy herbaceous plant with small white flowers in dense, flat corymbs.  There are many garden cultivars with rose, red or yellow flowers.  To 90cm.  Tendency to be invasive but easily controlled.  [RHSE,  Hortus].

Adansonia digitata L.

Frost tender deciduous tree with a thickened, swollen, succulent trunk with short branches bearing rounded, usually 5-9-palmate leaves and pendant white and purple flowers, borne on long stalks, with or just before, the leaves in summer.  To 18m.  [RHSE].

Alstonia scholaris (L.) R.Br.

Frost-tender tree with ribbed, oval-shaped leaves, to 20cm long, usually 5-7 in a whorl, and cymes of greenish-white flowers.  To 20m.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Althaea officinalis L.

Fully hardy summer flowering perennial with pale rose to lilac-pink flowers, like a shorter growing Hollyhock.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Aquilegia vulgaris L.

Variable plant with flowers occurring in a range of colours in shades of blue and purple and also white.  Hybridises readily with other species.  To 60cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].  See also Aquilegia atropurpurea Willd.

Arbutus unedo L. var. serratifolia

See Arbutus unedo L. for more detail on the species. Serratifolia has serrated leaves.

Artemisia abrotanum L.

Fully hardy, erect, deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub with aromatic pinnatisect leaves and yellowish-grey flower heads, in dense panicles, to 30cm long, in summer.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Asclepias curassavica L.

Frost tender, evergreen sub-shrub, often grown as an annual, with upright branches and lance-shaped leaves, and axillary, umbel-like cymes of red or orange-red flowers, with orange-yellow hoods, from summer to autumn.  To 1m.  There is also a white-flowered form. [RHSE, Hortus].

Atherosperma moschatum Labill.

Frost hardy, conical, evergreen tree with lance-shaped, nutmeg-scented leaves and solitary, saucer-shaped, fragrant, creamy white flowers, produced from the upper leaf axils in early spring.  To 6m.  [RHSE, Hilliers', FNSW, Beadle].

Bambusa arundinacea Wall.

Frost tender evergreen, clump-forming bamboo with tall woody stems, up to 20cm in diameter, with a profusion of very leafy branches at the top, flowering once only after which the plant dies.  To 30m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Bellis perennis L.

Fully hardy, small stoloniferous perennial with white to crimson flowers from late winter throughout summer.  Grown in gardens for centuries, there are many large flowered and double garden forms, such as B. perennis hortensis which is both large-flowered and double. [See Bellis perennis L. flore pleno].  [RHSE, Hortus].

Berberis vulgaris L.

Fully hardy deciduous species mainly grown for its pendulous clusters of egg-shaped, bright red, translucent berries which follow the yellow flowers which appear in spring.  To 3m. [RHSD, Hilliers'].

Bixa orellana L.

Frost tender, intricately branched, evergreen tree with ovate-heart-shaped leaves and terminal panicles of 3-5, open cup-shaped, 5-petalled, purple-tinted, white or pink flowers in summer and autumn, followed by bristly bright red or dark pink fruit, full of dark red seeds.  To 10m by 5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull.

Very variable, hardy, prostrate to erect shrub with green to grey leaves, to 3mm long, and racemes of white to red flowers in summer and autumn.  To 60cm.  There are many garden varieties.  [RHSE, Hortus].

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