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

Nerium oleander ‘Spectabile’

Presumably a cultivar of Nerium oleander L. I have found no specific description of this variety but it was presumably ‘spectabilis’, somewhat remarkable in appearance. See Nerium oleander ‘Albo Pleno’ for more information on this plant.


Added on June 03 2009

Passiflora hybrid no.1

‘No.1. Paler than Kermisina, similar flowers, much [words indistinct] centre petals, very good colour semi-double(?).’  

Added on January 31 2010

Hippeastrum splendido-vittatum

A Hippeastrum x splendens Herb. x Hippeastrum vittatum (L’Hér.) Herb. hybrid.  No description of Macarthur’s plant is extant.

Added on May 10 2009

Passiflora raddiana DC.

Frost-tender vine with trilobed leaves, to 10cm long, purple-tinted below, and violet-purple flowers to 8cm across.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on January 31 2010

Hibiscus x sydneyi [Bidwill]

Hibiscus splendens Fras. ex Graham x Hibiscus heterophyllus Vent.  Hybrid raised by John Bidwill, presumably in Sydney.  I have found no description but this cross was recently repeated at Camden Park.  It is yet to flower but the leaves are deep green, deeply lobed and palmate in form, quite dissimilar to the adult leaves of both parents, in particular they are free of the greyish pubescence of the seed parent.  

Added on January 13 2010

Maurandya barclaiana Lindl.

Half hardy, erect, free-flowering climber with tubular flowers in shades of pink and purple with white and green tints, in summer and autumn.  Most early depictions of the plant show the flowers as a vibrant purple.  To 5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on September 24 2009

Cryptocarya species unidentified

Cryptocarya is a genus of some 250 species of trees or shrubs from the tropics or sub-tropics.  15 species are recognised in NSW, including Cryptocarya bidwillii Meissn.  This was not described until 1864, the type plant originating from Wide Bay, now in Queensland, suggesting that Bidwill found it there after he was appointed Commissioner in 1849.

Added on March 06 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


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

Thomas Harris (1885-1948)

Thomas Harris, born in Worcestershire in 1885, was a gardener at Camden Park from 1913 to 1938.

Published Aug 16, 2012 - 11:09 AM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:12 PM

Florists’ flowers

Floristry, in the 17th, 18th and 19th century meaning of the word, the growing and improvement of flowering plants for the sake of their beauty alone, has a long history in China and Asia but is of relatively recent origin in Europe.  From quite humble beginnings, the small scale leisure activity of artisans and labourers, it attracted the attention of the owners of the great pleasure gardens and botanic gardens of Europe.  Specialised nurseries began to appear to service great and small gardens, providing a means of disseminating the beautiful new varieties which the nurseries were both breeding and obtaining from enthusiastic amateurs.

Published Mar 12, 2010 - 03:41 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 05:30 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.