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

Crinum zeylanicum L.

Frost-tender, deciduous, bulbous perennial with a large bulb, to 20cm diameter, up to 10, thin, erect or spreading, sword-shaped leaves, sometimes with undulating edges, and flower stems, to 90cm long, bearing up to 20, fragrant white flowers, with a broad violet-crimson keel, in spring.  To 90cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].  

Added on April 28 2009

Penstemon pallidus Small

Herbaceous erect perennial with tubular white flowers in spring and early summer.  To 60cm.  [Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium –].

Added on September 24 2009

Flacourtia species unidentified

Flacourtia sepiaria Roxb., the ‘Hedge flacoutia’ has been particularly recommended for fencing and hedging.  Other species have also been used for hedging.  [Don].  Macarthur’s plant could well be such a species.


Added on March 16 2009

Malus domestica ‘Kingston Black’

Fruit; of medium size and irregular in shape. Skin; dark mahogany or deep crimson, deep yellow-orange where shaded, the surface strewn with fine cinnamon russet dots. Flesh; yellowish, pink near the skin, fine grained. the juice is plentiful, rich, tawney-red in colour and agreeable in flavour, moderately sweet, pleasantly acid with an astringent after taste. [HP pl.XLV/1878].



Added on April 16 2010

Ixia ‘Calypso’

Hybrid Ixia of unknown parentage but probably bred at Camden Park.  No description is extant.

Added on November 10 2009

Grevillea longifolia R.Br.

Frost tender evergreen shrub or small tree with serrated leaves, silvery or yellowish hairy beneath, to 25cm long, and racemes of dark red flowers in spring.  The foliage has been used by florists for decoration in Europe, particularly France.  To 5m.  [RHSD, FNSW, Olde & Marriott].

Added on March 17 2009

Ixora chinensis Lam.

Frost-tender, bushy, rounded shrub with oblong, pointed leaves, to 6cm long, and dense, flattened, corymb-like cymes, to 10cm across, of red, orange, pink or white flowers, in summer. To 2m by 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].  Often confused with Ixora L. var. bandhuca (Roxb.) Corner which see.  

Added on February 08 2010


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 - 04:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.


Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 05:19 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 - 02:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 05:31 PM


Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 7: The Vintage (Continued)

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI, reproduced in Part 6, dealt with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The vintage is continued in Part 7, letters XII and XIII giving a description of grape harvesting and crushing. The illustration used here is an excellent lithograph showing the grape harvest at the third vineyard at Camden Park in 1878.

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 24, 2010 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 AM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 4: Forming the Vineyard and Planting Vines

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters V and VI deal with the formation of the vineyard and planting the vines. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 1, a ground plan for a vineyard. This is probably based on his own third vineyard, commenced c.1830.

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 05, 2010 - 05:03 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM

Australian native plants in the Hortus

Australian native plants were important to the gardening enterprises of Camden Park.  Even today Australian trees such as Araucaria species, Agathis robusta, Brachychiton populneum, Lagunaria pattersonia, Grevillea robusta and several species of palm very much define the landscape of the gardens.  Australian plants, particularly native orchids and ferns, were sent to England in large numbers in exchange for the exotic plants that were so much desired by Macarthur and his fellow colonists.

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 05:22 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:32 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

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.