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.

Pandorea pandorana (Andr.) Steenis

The designation ‘sp. nova’ suggests an Australian plant and was often used in this sense by Macarthur.  The only other Australian bignonia known at the time is Pandorea pandorana (Andr.) Steenis, although it seems unlikely that William Macarthur would have been unaware of this plant as it first botanically described in 1800 and introduced to Europe even earlier.  It is a climber with creamish-white flowers with a purplish throat, native to the Sydney area.  [FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Andrews’ Botanical Repository figures Bignonia pandorana, collected on Norfolk Island and introduced by the nurserymen Lee and Kennedy in 1793.  [ABR pl.86/1800].  ‘Although naturally climbing, by the twisting of its stalks round whatever support comes in its way, is capable like the Honeysuckle of forming a bushy shrub that can support itself.  Blossoms freely and its foliage is lively and agreeable, but the flowers are apt soon to drop off, and with us it never produces fruit.  It may however be easily propagated by cuttings.  Requires the protection of a greenhouse.  Is a native of Norfolk-Island, in the South-Seas, whence the seeds were brought to this country by Governor Patterson, from whose information it appears that a very destructive blight generally makes its first appearance upon the young shoots of this shrub, and spreads from thence over the whole vegetation of the island; from this relation the name we have adopted derives its origin.  Our drawing was taken from a fine plant received from Mr. Loddiges in April.’  [BM t.865/1805].

History at Camden Park

‘Bignonia sp. Nova’ is listed in all published catalogues [T.162/1843].  Pandorea pandorana grows in the gardens today.


Another possibility is Pandorea baileyana (Maiden & R.T.Baker) Steenis, first described as Tecoma baileyana Maiden & R.T.Baker in 1896.  This plant s found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of eastern Australia, north from Lismore [FNSW].  Such a plant could have been collected by Macarthur’s Moreton Bay contacts.  There are no other likely Australian natives but see Bignonia unguis-cati L.

Published Feb 25, 2010 - 03:05 PM | Last updated Jul 15, 2010 - 01:57 PM

Shown is a climber with pinnate leaves and narrow trumpet-shaped red and white flowers. Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.865, 1805.

Pandorea pandorana (Andr.) Steenis | BM t.865/1805 | BHL

Family Bignoniaceae
Region of origin


  • Bignonia pandorana Andr.
Common Name

Wonga Wonga

Name in the Camden Park Record

Bignonia sp. Nova  

Confidence level low