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.

Camden Park House from the East Lawn. Photography by Leigh Youdale

Selected plants in the Hortus

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’.

Added on August 26 2009

Ritchiea arborescens [Macarthur]

I have been unable to identify a plant with the name Richiea arborescens.  The only plant of the genus Ritchiea listed in Paxton’s Dictionary is Ritchiea fragrans R.Br.  Johnston’s Dictionary lists both this plant and Ritchiea polypetala Hook. ex Hook.f., the latter in the 1875 Supplement.

Added on March 04 2009

Gladiolus ‘Brilliant’

Camden Park hybrid. (Gladiolus cardinalis x G. tristis) x Gladiolus x gandavensis hybrid.  ‘No.10.  Brilliant.  Card. trist. Gandavensis (No.22).  Robust scape large flowers 3½ - 4 in., petals too thin and rather pointed.  Colour brilliant red between(?) scarlet, pink [word indistinct] with a white stripe in centre of each upper lobe, and a little purple and [word indistinct] on lower lobes.  If the petals had not been so thin this would have been a very fine flower.  1848 3 large roots 10 offsets.’  ‘Brilliant’ was not listed in the catalogues.

Added on October 21 2009

Malus domestica ‘Desert Apple’

Probably a variety raised at Camden Park.  No mention is made of this apple in William Macarthur’s records.  

 

 

Added on April 15 2010

Brachychiton australis (Schott. & Endl.) A.Terracc.

A bottle-shaped tree when mature, deciduous when flowering, with 5-lobed leaves, to 25cm, and short racemes of cup-shaped white flowers, to 2.5cm long.  [REF].

Added on March 07 2010

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora L.

Tuberous rooted perennial with narrowlt lance-shaped, plicate leaves and stems bearing terminal panicles of yellow flowers.  To 60cm.  [RHSD, Hortus, CECB].

Added on January 10 2010

Sinningia speciosa ‘Erecta Magnifica’

Probably a cultivar of Sinningia speciosa (Lodd.) Hiern. The erecta cultivars are similar to ‘Fyfiana’, which see.  ‘Erecta Magnifica’ could well belong to this group. I have found no detailed description of this cultivar and the name magnifica gives no real clues.

Added on September 08 2009

News

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

Essays

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

Establishing an Orchard in Colonial Australia

Every Colonial gentleman with a household to maintain needed to keep an orchard of sufficient size to meet the needs of his kitchen and dining table at all times of the year. In 19th century Australia planting trees was an almost entirely manual operation, and establishing an orchard an expensive undertaking. William Macarthur developed a thriving and profitable nursery business in the 1840s, with an extensive and varied catalogue of plants for sale but heavily dependent on trees and shrubs, particularly fruit-bearing trees such as vines, oranges, apples, pears, plums, peaches and apricots. It was in the interests of Macarthur to ensure that the plants he sold were of high quality and that when received by the customer his plants not only survived but thrived and were productive. To this end he published a brief but detailed guide to what needed to be done to ensure that the planting of trees was as successful as possible and provided the best long-term results for his customers.

Published Jun 26, 2010 - 04:30 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2010 - 04:36 PM

Camden Park Nursery Group

We are a small voluntary group helping to maintain and preserve the historic Camden Park gardens. There are regular meeting days, currently Tuesday and Saturday but this can be varied, but most members contribute through Working Bees held typically every third Sunday.

Published Jun 27, 2010 - 04:16 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 04:32 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 3: Grape Varieties and Diseases

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters III and IV deal with grape varieties found suitable for New South Wales, and diseases of the vine.

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 - 05:24 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:16 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

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.