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.

Potentilla formosa D.Don

Fully hardy, loose-clump-forming perennial with palmate leaves, red-tinged stems and loose cymes of saucer-shaped, dark crimson flowers in summer.  There are many garden varieties.  To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘We received it [Potentilla napalensis] from our friend Mr. M’Nab, of the Edinburgh botanic Garden, who first raised it from seeds sent him by Dr. Wallich, of Calcutta.  It is a hardy perennial, and thrives very well in any good garden soil.’  [LBC no.1031/1825].  The Floricultural Cabinet describes the flowers of P. formosa as rose coloured.  [FC p.224, 1849].  Flore des Serres figures a variety with striped flowers under the name Potentilla striata formosissima.  [FS f.695/1852].  Potentilla formosa was introduced to Britain in 1822.  [JD].  Saint-Hilaire pl.181/1829.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues as Potentilla Nepalense [H.192/1850] and Potentilla formosa [H.189/1850].  It is possible that these plants and others first listed in the catalogues in 1850 were obtained as seed from James Carter, Florist and Seedsman of High Holborn, with whom an order for Potentilla seed was placed on 8th of April 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p.128].  The Gardeners Chronicle advertisement from which the order was taken specified eight species or varieties of Potentilla.


Published Oct 06, 2009 - 04:56 PM | Last updated Feb 04, 2010 - 12:36 PM

Shown are palmate leaves, red-tinged stems and saucer-shaped, dark crimson flowers.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.1031, 1825.

Potentilla nepalensis Hook. | LBC no.1031/1825 | HAAB

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin


  • Potentilla nepalensis Hook.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Potentilla Nepalense

Potentilla formosa


Confidence level high