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.

Cyperus papyrus L.

A frost tender, stout perennial reed, the leaves in a drooping umbel at the top of the stem.  To 3m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to England in 1803 [JD] but obviously known elsewhere as a very useful plant for much longer.  The source of papyrus of antiquity.

History at Camden Park

Included in a consignment of plants sent from Kew in November 1843 by John Bidwill [AJCP].  Although there is no record of this plant being grown at Camden it seems likely that these plants were sent there to the care of William Macarthur.  Macarthur did attempt to establish a water garden on the estate but abandoned the attempt due to the depredations of swans.  It is unlikely that the papyrus would have survived a Camden winter.


Published Feb 15, 2009 - 02:14 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 05:25 PM

Family Cyperaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe to North Africa

  • Papyrus antiquorum Willd.
Common Name

Papyrus, Egyptian paper reed

Name in the Camden Park Record

Papyrus antiqorum 

Confidence level high