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.

Oxydendrum arboreum DC.

Large deciduous shrub or small tree, the lance-shaped leaves producing brilliant crimson and yellow autumn colour, the white flowers produced in terminal drooping racemes in summer.  The leaves have a pleasant scent.  Usually to c.6m in cultivation, taller in the wild.  [RHSD, Hilliers’, Hortus]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Said to grow in its native soil, in the Alhegany-Mountains, into a tree fifty or sixty feet high.  The specimen from which our drawing was taken forms a very large shrub in Messrs. Whitley and Brame’s Nursery, in Old Brompton; the branches are pendent, and the long racemes of white flowers grow from their extremities.  Blossoms from July to September, and during this season in particular makes a very handsome appearance.’  [BM t.905/1806].  Introduced to Britain in 1752.  [JD]. 

History at Camden Park

Andromeda arborea is marked with a ‘c’ in an 1836 edition of Loddiges’ catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA].  In William Macarthur’s code, used and explained elsewhere, this means grown at Camden.  It is almost certain that it was grown in the gardens around this time but may have been short lived as it did not appear in the catalogues. 


Published Jan 11, 2009 - 11:50 AM | Last updated Jul 17, 2010 - 05:22 PM

The image shows leaves and drooping racemes of small, urn-shaped white flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.905, 1806.

Oxydendrum arboreum DC. | BM t.905/1806 | BHL

Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

North America

  • Andromeda arborea L. 

Common Name

Sour wood, Sorrel tree

Name in the Camden Park Record

Andromeda arborea 

Confidence level high