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

Bauhinia vahlii Wight & Arn.

A giant woody climber in the wild, leaves heart-shaped at the base and with distinct, roundish lobes, and yellowish-white flowers borne in racemes.  [various sources].

Added on November 22 2009

Citrus sinensis ‘Malta Blood Orange’

This is a cultivar of Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck. For details of the Sweet Orange see Citrus sinensis  ‘Chinese Oval’. The following description is of a blood orange still grown in Western Australia in the early 20th century. ‘Maltese Blood. The pulp is streaked and mottled with red. It has few seeds. Tree thornless and of dwarf habit, and may be planted closer than freer growing kinds; hardier than the Washington Navel, and the tree a more generous bearer. The foliage is dark and glossy. Fruit small to medium, oval, of high flavour; a good keeper and carrier.’ [Despeissis p.237/1903].

Added on May 04 2010

Ixia odorata Ker-Gawl.

Cormous perennial with from 5-12 crowded, small, pale yellow or cream, sweetly fragrant flowers per stem.  [CECB].  

Added on November 10 2009

Ribes rubrum ‘Cherry’

‘Bunches, short, with few berries. Berries, very large, of a deep red colour, and acid flavour, more so than the Red Dutch. It is the largest Red Currant. The bush is of a dwarf habit, with strong, short, and stout stunted-looking shoots; and it has the objectionable practice of sending up a gross shoot from the bottom, which almost invariably breaks off with the wind. The foliage is large, of thick substance, and dark green. The fruit ripens rather early.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.318/1884]. See also Ribes rubrum L.

Added on June 07 2010

Rhododendron indicum Sweet var. murrayana

Azalea indica Murrayana is ‘a clear rose, a fine form.’  [FC p.190/1857].  An advertisement from Bainbridge & Hewison, Nurserymen, Seedsmen and Florists, York, described its blooms as large, carmine.  [Gard. Chron. 1856].  It was still being offered for sale in the pages of The Gardeners Chronicle in 1860.

Added on June 04 2009

Clerodendrum paniculatum L.

Shrub with ovate, cordate leaves and much branched panicles of scarlet flowers.  To 1.2m.  [RHSD].

Added on February 22 2009

Pelargonium ‘Carlos’

A Florists' Geranium. A large, even flower, of good shape, dark top and rosy bottom petals and clean white centre.  ‘A noble flower for exhibition.’  Bred by Mr. Hoyle of Regalia.  [Gard. Chron. 1853]. ‘Carlos’ featured heavily in shows in 1858.  [Gard. Chron. 1858].


Added on January 29 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 - 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 2: Climate and Soil

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters I and II deal with climate, site and soil.

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 01, 2010 - 03:26 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:16 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 - 10:34 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:13 AM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 2

Rambles in New Zealand is the only published work of John Carne Bidwill of any length and an important document in the early colonial history of that country.
It is included in the Hortus for a number of reasons but mainly because, together with his letters to The Gardeners’ Chronicle, it completes the known published works of Bidwill. His importance in the history of the Camden Park gardens and the lack of any substantive treatment of his life and achievements make it appropriate to include all his published work here.
Rambles is published here in four parts:
Part 1 – dedication, Preface, pages 1-29
Part 2 – pages 30-59
Part 3 – pages 60-89
Part 4 – pages 90 -93, List of Subscribers


Published Feb 29, 2012 - 12:18 PM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 07:02 AM

Camden Park Roses

Roses were very important to the Camden Park gardens, 297 are listed in the Hortus, substantially more than the next largest genus, Camellia with 140 plants.  This brief review summarises the major types of rose grown and discusses the change in profile of roses over the decades from 1843 to 1861. 

Published Feb 13, 2010 - 03:27 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 11:02 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.