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.

Dictamnus albus L.

Fully hardy clump-forming perennial with white or pinkish-white flowers in early summer. There are a number of garden cultivars, with rosy-red to purplish flowers.  To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Digitalis purpurea L.

Fully hardy, rosette forming, variable biennial with tall. one-sided spikes of purple, pink or white flowers, with paler spots inside, in early summer.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Diospyros lotus L.

Fully hardy, spreading deciduous tree with lance-shaped leaves, to 12cm long, and tiny, bell-shaped, red-tinged green flowers in summer, followed by inedible, spherical to ovoid, yellow to purple fruit, to 2cm across, on female plants.  To 10m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Dracocephalum moldavica L.

Fully hardy, erect, bushy annual with aromatic, triangular, toothed leaves, to 4cm long, and slender spike-like racemes of whorled, 2-lipped, violet-blue to purple, sometimes white flowers, to 2.5cm long, in summer.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Fraxinus excelsior L.

Fully-hardy, vigorous, spreading, deciduous tree with conspicuous black buds in winter, pinnate leaves, to 30cm long, composed of 9, 11, or 13 leaflets, which turn yellow in autumn.  To 30m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Fraxinus ornus L.

Fully-hardy, bushy-headed, rounded, deciduous tree with pinnate leaves, to 20cm long, composed of 5-9 leaflets, turning purple-red in autumn, and large terminal and axillary panicles of fragrant, creamy flowers in spring and summer.  To 15m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Gardenia resinifera Roth.

Frost-tender, unarmed shrub or small tree with shiny, oblong leaves with resinous buds and solitary, almost terminal, large, pure white, fragrant flowers.  [Don].

Gelsemium sempervirens Ait.

Borderline half hardy, vigorous, slender, twining perennial with stems that spiral anti-clockwise, narrow glossy leaves, to 5cm long, and clusters, to 8cm across, of fragrant yellow flowers, to 3cm long, with darker throats, in spring and summer.  To 6m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Genista anglica L.

Fully-hardy, spiny deciduous shrub, sometimes procumbent, with small but showy, pea-like yellow flowers in spring and early summer.  To 60cm.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Gmelina asiatica L.f. var. parvifolia (Roxb.) Moldenke

Frost tender, often spiny shrub with ovate leaves, to 6cm, and slightly pendant terminal racemes of yellow flowers.  To 10m.  [RHSD].

Hedera helix L.

Fully hardy, vigorous, variable, self-clinging climber or trailing perennial with 3- to5-lobed, broadly triangular glossy leaves, to 6cm long.  To 10m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Hibiscus cannabinus L. var. lindleyi

Half-hardy, erect, almost unbranched, fast-growing annual or short-lived perennial with palm-like, 3- to7-lobed leaves, to 15cm long, and single or few-flowered axillary racemes of funnel-shaped, pale yellow or purple-red flowers with crimson-red centres, from summer to autumn.  To 3.5m.  The variety Lindleyi has deep purple flowers.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Ilex aquifolium L.

Frost hardy, usually erect, dense, pyramidal or oblong, evergreen shrub or tree, with glossy, dark green, leaves with spine-toothed or spiny margins, and long-lasting red, orange or yellow berries in autumn and winter.  To 25m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Juglans regia L.

Fully hardy, spreading tree with pinnate, aromatic leaves, to 30cm long, composed of up to 9 leaflets, bronze-purple when young, and edible nuts, to 5cm long.  To 30m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Juniperus phoenicea L.

Fully-hardy, dense, rounded or broadly conical evergreen shrub or small tree, with rounded fruits, ripening over 2 years.  To about 6m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

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