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.

Camellia japonica ‘Modesta’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L., ‘Modesta’ has very regular flowers of a delicate purplish-pink.

Horticultural & Botanical History

It was bred by William Herbert from ‘Waratah’ crossed with ‘Variegata’ before 1837.  ‘From waratah by Pompone. -17. v. Modesta, or Hebe; flower nearly regular, of a delicate purplish pink.’  [Herbert, Amaryllidaceae p.368].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.243/1850].  ‘Modesta’ is marked with an ‘H’ in William Macarthur’s hand in an 1850 catalogue held at Camden Park.  It was later distributed in Sydney by at least Rule and Baptiste.  [CQ].  Possibly obtained from Loddiges’ Nursery.  Macarthur wrote on 6th January 1845: ‘I am very desirous to have the best of Mr. Herbert’s varieties.’  [MP A2933-2, p.28].


Published Jun 30, 2009 - 03:11 PM | Last updated Aug 10, 2011 - 04:58 PM

Family Theaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

  • ‘Hebe’


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Camellia japonica modesta 

Confidence level high