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.

Podocarpus spinulosus (Smith) R.Br. ex Mirbel

Frost-tender evergreen shrub or small tree with rigid, pointed, linear leaves, to 6cm long, and blue-black fruit, to 1.2cm across.  To 1m.  [RHSD, Hortus, FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1821.  [JD].  ‘This shrub possesses edible fruit, something like a plum, hence its vernacular names.  The Rev. Dr. Woolls tells me that, mixed with jam of the Native Currant (Leptomeria acida), it makes a very good pudding.’  [The Useful Native Plants of Australia. Maiden. p.53/1889].  See also Podocarpus elatus R.Br. ex Mirb.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1850 catalogue.  Probably collected by Macarthur on one of his botanising trips in the Illawarra.  Named and described as Podocarpus bidwillii in 1847 in the Synopsis Coniferen with the notation ‘Habitat in Nova Hollandia orientali’.  Somewhat confusingly Netta Gray also gives Podocarpus bidwillii Hoibrenk ex Endl. as a synonym of the New Zealand species Podocarpus totara G.Benn. ex D.Don in her Revision of Podocarpus in the Journal of the Arnold Arboretum (from vol.39, p.424/1956).


Published Aug 09, 2009 - 02:31 PM | Last updated Jul 29, 2010 - 05:00 PM

Family Podocarpaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia, including the Illawarra

  • Podocarpus pungens D.Don
  • Podocarpus bidwillii Hoibrenk ex Endl.
  • Podocarpus excelsa Lodd. ex Endl.
  • Nageia spinulosa F. Mull.
  • Taxus spinulosa Sm.
Common Name

Native plum, Native damson

Name in the Camden Park Record

Podocarpus pungens

Confidence level high