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.

Bulbous and Tuberous Rooted Plants

A division of the Camden Park catalogues that is not clearly defined. Some of the more important families of the Hortus are included here, Amaryllidaceae, Iridaceae and Liliaceae. It also contains a wide assortment of other plants with a modified stem or root that acts as a storage organ. Such plants are usually deciduous and have a distinct dormancy period. Shrubs and trees are not included, but there is some overlap with herbaceous plants.

Agapanthus praecox Willd.

Half-hardy clump-forming, rhizomatous evergreen perennial with long, strap-like leaves and rounded umbels of deep blue, trumpet-shaped flowers in spring. The species varies somewhat in flower colour and size, number of flowers to the umbel and in overall size. Not surprisingly there are now many garden forms. To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB].

Agapanthus praecox Willd. var. variegatus

See Agapanthus praecox Willd. for a discussion of the species.   Macarthur’s ‘f. var.’ is probably a foliage variant of the species. Such a plant was described by Allen as less vigorous than the species, its leaves being less broad and long than the type and almost pure white with a few green bands and delicate blue flowers. [Allen, RHSD, Hortus]. Macarthur’s plant is possibly the variety listed by Steudel in 1840 as Agapanthus variegatus Hort., considered by him to be a form of A. umbellatus [Nomencl. Bot. – Steudel vol.1, p.33/1840]. Although Macarthur was obviously familiar with a foliar variety the only reference I have found to such a plant in the contemporary literature is the brief mention by Steudel. Today there are many variegated garden forms.

Allium neapolitanum Cirillo var. cowanii

Half-hardy perennial with somewhat flaccid, stem-sheathing, lance-shaped leaves which often wither before flowering time, and white flowers with spreading petals in multi-flowered umbels.  [RHSE]. 


Alocasia odora K.Koch

Tender, tuberous-rooted herbaceous plant with ovate leaves, to 90cm long and 75 cm wide on stems to 60cm long, and fragrant, yellowish, spathate flowers.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Alpinia speciosa K.Schum.

Frost-tender, robust, upright, clump-forming, rhizomatous perennial with lance-shaped leaves and fragrant, nodding, white, purple-tinged flowers, with yellow lips striped red and brown in summer.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 

Alstroemeria aurea Graham

Frost-hardy, tuberous-rooted perennial with bright orange or yellow flowers, streaked dark red inside, in summer.  Many garden cultivars and hybrids exist.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 


Alstroemeria hookeri Lodd. subsp. hookeri

This is the probable identification of Macarthur’s Alstroemeria hookeriana. It is a frost-hardy, dwarf, perennial with pink flowers, streaked yellow and purple inside, in summer.  To 60cm.  [RHSE].


Alstroemeria ligtu L.f. subsp. ligtu 'Barclayana'

See Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. simsii (Spreng) Ehr.Bayer for a description of the species. According to Johnson's and Paxton's Dictionary, ‘Barcleyana’ has crimson flowers, although the Floricultural Cabinet described the flowers as orange.  [FC p.274/1849].


Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. simsii (Spreng) Ehr.Bayer

The species, Alstroemeria ligtu, has lance-shaped leaves, to 8cm long, and umbels of up to 24 flowers, whitish or pale lilac or pale red outside, yellow inside, spotted or streaked with white, purple or red, borne on stems to 80cm long, in summer. The Botanical Magazine illustrtation of A. pulchella shows a distinctive deep reddish flower with deep red striations to the petals. [RHSD, Hortus, Baker Am.].

See also Alstroemeria pulchella L.f.


Alstroemeria ornata [Macarthur]

Unidentified Alstroemeria species.

I have been unable to identify this plant.  Possibly a nursery name for a variant of one of the popular species of the day.


Alstroemeria pelegrina L.

Spreading, tuberous rooted perrenial, flowers lilac or bright rosy lilac, striped and spotted with red-purple outside.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 


Alstroemeria pelegrina L. 'Alba'

See Alstroemeria pelegrina L. for details. ‘Alba’ is a white-flowered form.


Alstroemeria pulchella L.f.

The identification of Macarthur’s Alstroemeria psittacina  and Alstroemeria pulchella presents some difficulties. It is possible that Alstroemeria pulchella L.f. is the correct identification for both plants although they probably differed somewhat in appearance. Another possibility is that Macarthur’s A. pulchella was Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. simsii (Spreng) Ehr.Bayer, which see.

Frost-hardy, tuberous-rooted perennial with mauve-spotted stems and green flowers overlaid with red, in summer.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus].


Alstroemeria pulchra Sims

Similar to Alstroemeria ligtu, (see Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. simsii (Spreng) Ehr.Bayer), and considered by some to be a form of ligtu. It has longer and narrower leaves and larger, variously coloured flowers, the perianth segments acute, with purple spots in the upper half.  [RHSD, Hortus, Baker Am., Fish].


Alstroemeria x vanhouttei Hort.

William Herbert saw these plants at Louis van Houtte’s nursery and wrote of them:  ‘They are of every tint, from scarlet to lemon-colour, and from crimson to pale pink, variegated with white.  It would have been difficult to find two plants, amidst the great number then in bloom, of which the flowers were exactly similar, some being remarkable for the delicacy, as others for the brilliancy, of their hues.  Another very long bed of younger plants raised from last years seed of the former, was in vigorous progress, and already showed many flower buds.  The foliage of all the plants was nearly similar, the average height of the inflorescence being, I should think, between 12 and 18 inches.  Mr. Van Houtte informs me that he purchased the whole from the person who raised them; and, from their appearance, I should pronounce them mules between A. Hookeriana and haemantha.  I cannot assert that A. pulchra and aurantiaca may not have been in part concerned with their production, but I rather attribute it to Hookeriana and one of the best varieties of haemantha, such as Barclayi.  They were planted in a mixture of vegetable earth and strong soil, with the Ghent sand, and in some parts the plants seemed to have suffered from the compost being too light and sandy.  I do not recollect having ever seen a bed of flowers so beautiful; and I should think Mr. Van Houtte will find it difficult to supply the demand for them, when their merit shall become fully known.’  [Gard. Chron. July 12th, 1845]. 

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