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 with industrial uses

Abelmoschus moschatus Medik.

An erect or trailing herb or sub-shrub, depending on the variety, with variable but usually lobed leaves.  The subspecies moschatus has single yellow flowers with a dark purple basal spot.  Subspecies tuberosus is a trailing plant with red flowers and an underground tuber.  The plant dies back to this tuber in the dry season, emerging again with the wet season.  [FNSW, internet sources].  Widely cultivated in tropical regions.

Abrus precatorius L.

Frost tender deciduous climber, the leaves consisting of numerous pairs of oblong leaflets, and red to pale purple, rarely white, flowers in spring, followed by oblong pods, to 6cm long.  To 3.5m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Acer saccharum Marsh.

Fully hardy deciduous tree with a dense rounded crown and large, broadly ovate, mid-green, 3-5 lobed leaves which turn brilliant orange to red and yellow in autumn.  To 40m. An economically important tree, it is tapped for its sap in spring, the source of maple sugar, and also produces the highly prized birds-eye maple timber for cabinet making.  [RHSD, Hilliers’].

Agave americana L.

Frost-hardy, succulent perennial with rosettes of spreading, lance-shaped, spine-tipped, grey-green leaves, to 2m long, and panicles up to 8m long, bearing clusters of yellowish-green flowers in summer.  [RHSE, Hortus].


Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.

Tender herbaceous perennial with a dense rosette of up to 50 leaves. up to 1.5m long, the cone-like inflorescence becoming a swollen fruit, to 30cm long, the well known pineapple.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn.

Small tree with a short trunk, curved branches, simple, alternate, oval or oblong leaves, to 8cm, velvety underneath, and axillary flower spikes bearing apetalous flowers.  To 8m.  [].

Arbutus unedo L. var. serratifolia

See Arbutus unedo L. for more detail on the species. Serratifolia has serrated leaves.

Atherosperma moschatum Labill.

Frost hardy, conical, evergreen tree with lance-shaped, nutmeg-scented leaves and solitary, saucer-shaped, fragrant, creamy white flowers, produced from the upper leaf axils in early spring.  To 6m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’, FNSW, Beadle].

Bambusa arundinacea Wall.

Frost tender evergreen, clump-forming bamboo with tall woody stems, up to 20cm in diameter, with a profusion of very leafy branches at the top, flowering once only after which the plant dies.  To 30m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Bixa orellana L.

Frost tender, intricately branched, evergreen tree with ovate-heart-shaped leaves and terminal panicles of 3-5, open cup-shaped, 5-petalled, purple-tinted, white or pink flowers in summer and autumn, followed by bristly bright red or dark pink fruit, full of dark red seeds.  To 10m by 5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Broussonetia papyrifera Vent.

Large dioecious shrub or tree with woolly shoots and leaves, variable toothed leaves.  The female plant is quite attractive with its fruit aggregated into a small orange, woolly mass.  To 10m or more under favourable conditions.  There are a number of garden forms.  [RHSD, Hilliers’, Hortus].

Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull.

Very variable, hardy, prostrate to erect shrub with green to grey leaves, to 3mm long, and racemes of white to red flowers in summer and autumn.  To 60cm.  There are many garden varieties.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Calycanthus floridus L.

Fully hardy, bushy, spreading shrub with oval or oblong leaves to 12cm, and fragrant, dark red flowers, 5cm across and resembling a tiny water-lily with numerous strap-shaped petals, in summer.  To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm.

Frost tender, erect to spreading tree with aromatic, boldly-veined, glossy, ovate leaves, reddish when young, and clusters of small, bowl-shaped, greenish flowers in spring and summer, followed by black berries.  To 20m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].

Cotinus coggygria Scop.

Fully hardy bushy shrub or tree with often greyish oval leaves, to 7cm long, turning yellow to red in autumn, and fruiting panicles, to 15cm long, turning from green to grey as they mature.  To 5m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

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