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.

Plants in the Hortus

Many of the plants described here were listed in the catalogues of plants published by Sir William Macarthur in 1843, 1845, 1850 and 1857 and in an unpublished catalogue dated 1861. A large number of additional plants were identified from correspondence, gardening notebooks and other documents surviving in the archives. The Hortus attempts to describe all the plants grown in the gardens at Camden Park and those grown in horticultural enterprises such as orchards and vineyards and includes plants grown outside the gardens in the park-like environs of the Camden Park estate. The Hortus plants served a wide range of purposes in the 19th century household; as ornament, living fences, fibre, dyestuffs, medicines, food and drink from the garden, orchard and vineyard and many others.

Achimenes longiflora DC.

Frost-tender, free-flowering, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with leaves dark, metallic green above, often flushed red beneath, and violet, or lavender to pale purple flowers with a golden throat and yellow tube, to 6cm long, from summer to autumn.  To 40cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Achimenes mexicana Benth. & Hook.

Frost-tender rhizomatous perennial with paired, ovate, toothed, hairy leaves, to 12cm long, and flower stems to 60cm, bearing a solitary purple or blue flower with a pale mauve throat and spreading lobes, to 5cm long.  [RHSD].

Achimenes patens Benth.

In growth habit similar to Achimenes longiflora DC. which see.  The solitary flowers are red-violet, flushed with yellow and dotted with violet on the white throat.  To 30cm.  It will flower for many months of the year.  [Moore, Hortus, GRA p.32].

Achimenes pedunculata Benth.

Rhizomatous perennial with a rangy habit and green or purplish stems to 90cm long, leaves heart-shaped at the base, often with a purplish lower surface, and axillary peduncles of 2 nodding flowers, usually towards the ends of the stems, with a vermilion red corolla tube with an orange flush below and a yellow throat, all dotted with dark red.  [Moore, GRA p.33].

Achimenes skinneri ‘Grandiflora Maxima’

Probably a cultivar of Achimenes skinneri Lindl. It was described in L’Horticulteur Francais in 1856 but I have not yet traced this description.  [GRA p. 33].  The name suggests a cultivar with larger flowers than the wild type.

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’.

Achimenes x sanguinea (Hort. ex Hanst.) Regel ex Hanst.

I have no description of this plant but the name suggests a cultivar or hybrid with a bright red flower.

Achras sapota L.

Large, spreading tree with elliptic leaves clustered near the end of shoots, and inconspicuous flowers in clusters in the leaf axils, followed by brownish fruit, to 8cm across, sweet and perfumed when very ripe.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Acis autumnalis (L.) Sweet

A slender bulbous perennial with grassy foliage, produced with or just after the flowers, and leafless stems bearing 2-4 bell-shaped white flowers, red-tinged at the base, in summer and early autumn.  To 15cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Frost-tender, rounded, bushy tree with ovate to lance-shaped, glossy dark green leaves and terminal panicles of greenish-white flowers in spring and summer, followed by edible, white, pink, or red-purple berries, ripening in autumn.  To 15m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Beadle, FNSW].

Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & L.M.Perry var. kingii

Probably a more or less distinct variety, of which there are many, but I am unaware of how it varies from the type.  [See Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & L.M.Perry]. 

Acmena species unidentified

Probably a form of Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & L.M.Perry, which see.  This is a somewhat variable species and informal forms or races are recognised, usually varying in leaf [FNSW].

Adansonia digitata L.

Frost tender deciduous tree with a thickened, swollen, succulent trunk with short branches bearing rounded, usually 5-9-palmate leaves and pendant white and purple flowers, borne on long stalks, with or just before, the leaves in summer.  To 18m.  [RHSE].

Adenandra uniflora (L.) Willd.

Frost tender, erect, sparsely-branched, evergreen shrub, the young branches tinged yellow, with lance-shaped leaves and usually solitary white or pink flowers in summer.  To 45cm.  [RHSD].

Adenanthera pavonina L.

Frost tender shrub with 2-pinnate leaves, with oval, hairless leaflets, and long racemes of mixed white and yellow flowers.  To 1.5m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

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