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

Hoya imperialis Lindl.

Frost tender, twining climber with downy stems and elliptic, leathery, fleshy leaves, to 23cm long, and umbels of up to 12 star-shaped, reddish brown to purple flowers, to 7cm across, with white coronas, in summer.  To 6m or more.  [RHSE].

Added on February 24 2010

Rosa ‘Madame Domage’

Hybrid Perpetual.  Paul described ‘Madame Domage’ as very large and double flowers of a bright rose colour on a vigorous shrub.  [Paul (1863, 1888)].



Added on February 12 2010

Pinus palustris Mill.

Fully-hardy, slow-growing erect, evergreen tree with densely crowded, flexible leaves, to 45cm long, and cylindrical cones, to 25cm long.  To about 20m.  [RHD, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on July 24 2009

Ranunculus asiaticus L.

Half-hardy, tuberous-rooted perennial buttercups with basal leaves and branching flower stems bearing 1-4 cup-shaped, red, pink, yellow or white flowers with purple-black centres in spring and summer.  To 45cm.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 

Added on January 26 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Hero’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Camden Park bred, seedling 42/51.  ‘Pale crimson, very double, petals thick substance, very small and quite confused. When full blown quite convex and almost semi-globular. Very pretty flower.’  William Macarthur.  [MP A2948-6].  

Added on June 27 2009

Fuchsia Smith’s ‘Dalstonia’

Smith’s Fuchsia ‘Dalstonia’ was described in the Floricultural Cabinet, ‘New hybrid Fuchias – notices of new plants’, by Nathaniel Norman: ‘Sepals, tubular portion rose, divisions yellow and green, reflexed.  Petals bright red.  A very profuse bloomer.’  [FC p.213/1841].  

Added on August 13 2009

Cordia sebestena L.

Frost tender. evergreen shrub or tree with entire, ovate leaves, to 20cm long and 12-45 flowered cymes of funnel-shaped orange-yellow flowers.  To 10m.  The wood is highly perfumed when burnt.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on March 10 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


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

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 5: Management and Replenishment of the Vineyard

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters VII and VIII deal with the management of the vineyard after planting, the use of manures and the replenishment of an exhausted vineyard. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 2, a section of a vineyard. This is referred to in detail in Part 4, however it does illustrate the method of vine culture recommended and described here, the dwarf-standard method which at this time was practiced mostly in the north of France.

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 09, 2010 - 05:49 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 4

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 - 02:37 PM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:13 PM

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.