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.

Vegetables and other Esculents

Vegetables, with very few exceptions, were not included in the Camden Park catalogues. Gardening notebooks contain a wealth of information on the vegetables grown and this will be progressively added to the Hortus.

Althaea officinalis L.

Fully hardy summer flowering perennial with pale rose to lilac-pink flowers, like a shorter growing Hollyhock.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene

Half-hardy, clump-forming bulbous perennial with linear leaves to 50cm, and racemes, to 30cm, of shallowly cup-shaped blue flowers.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze var. bohea

Half-hardy, slow-growing shrub with ovate, pointed leaves and small, nodding white flowers in spring.  The variety bohea has darker green leaves and usually solitary flowers.  [RHSD, Hilliers’].

Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume

Frost tender tree with ovate leaves, to 18cm long, and long panicles of yellowish-white flowers.  To 13m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Coffea arabica L.

Frost-tender evergreen shrub with elliptic leaves, to 10cm long, and fragrant white flowers in late summer, followed by reddish berries, containing 2 large seeds, the coffee beans of commerce.  To 7m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Don].

Dendrocalamus strictus (Roxb.) Nees

A deciduous, densely-tufted bamboo, the leaves lance-shaped, small in dry situations but up to 45cm long and 3cm broad under good conditions.  To 17m.  The young shoots are edible but it is extensively grown for its timber.  [Several internet sources].

Dioscorea alata L.

Probably a species of Yam, such as Dioscorea alata, with edible roots.  Dioscorea alata is a tuberous perennial, the tubers sometimes very large, weighing up to 40kg and 2 m or more in length.  Widely grown as a food source in the Pacific Islands.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Hibiscus cannabinus L. var. lindleyi

Half-hardy, erect, almost unbranched, fast-growing annual or short-lived perennial with palm-like, 3- to7-lobed leaves, to 15cm long, and single or few-flowered axillary racemes of funnel-shaped, pale yellow or purple-red flowers with crimson-red centres, from summer to autumn.  To 3.5m.  The variety Lindleyi has deep purple flowers.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Laurus nobilis L.

Frost hardy, evergreen conical tree or large shrub with glossy, ovate leaves, to 10cm long, and clusters of greenish flowers, to 5mm across, in spring, followed by black berries in female plants. To 12m.  [RHSE, Hortus. Hilliers’].

Moraea fugax (D.Delaroche) Jacq.

Cormous perennial with a solitary, occasionally two, very long, wiry leaf below the inflorescence, and a stem, to 40cm, bearing up to 4, short lived, sweetly-scented, white, yellow or lilac flowers, with a bright yellow patch at the base of the outer segments, in late summer.  The flowers open at mid-day, fading in the evening.  [RHSD, CECB, Hortus, Grey].  

Oxalis deppei Schlecht. ex Hemsl.

See Oxalis tetraphylla Cav. for more detail.  Oxalis deppei and O. tetraphylla, generally regarded as synonymous are sometimes treated as  separate, but very similar species from Mexico.  For convenience they are treated separately here.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Phyllostachys pubescens Mazel ex H. de Lehaie

A very strong growing, rhizomatous bamboo with very stout, bright green stems, leaves narrow and small, to 10cm long, and terminal panicles of flowers.  The young shoots are edible and this is the most important source of culinary Bamboo Shoots.  To 20m or more.  [Several internet sources].

Piper nigrum L.

Trailing or climbing shrub with ovate, pointed leaves, to 15cm long and spikes of minute flowers followed by green fruit, ripening through red to black.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Rheum rhaponticum L.

Perennial, rhizomatous herbaceous plant with large, heart-shaped leaves, to 45cm long, on long fleshy stems, and a dense, leafy inflorescence. to 1.8m, with white flowers.  Culinary rhubarb of which there are many garden varieties.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Rheum undulatum Pall.

Rheum undulatum Pall. is today generally considered to be a variety of Rheum rhaponticum L. which see, Rheum undulatum differing from the common Rhubarb in having rounded stems and wavier leaves.  [RHSD, Hortus].  See Notes in Rheum rhaponticum L. for further details.

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