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.

Royena villosa L.

Scrambling shrub or small tree with a densely leafy crown and yellow flowers, to 10mm long, 1-3 in leaf axils.  To 3m.  [Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park. Schmidt et al].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘In Moreton Bay, Queensland, the singular discovery has been made of the occurrence of the south-east African climbing shrub Royena villosa, L., growing apparently spontaneous by the Brisbane river, near the city of Brisbane.  I am indebted to Baron von Mueller for a specimen, which was gathered by Mr. Walter Hill.  Having regard to the great distance and wide divergence between the floras of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope, and to the fact that many species of foreign trees and shrubs have been imported into Australia, it must be suspected that this is not an outlying station of the true geographical range of the plant, but rather due to introduction.  The flowers have a sweet fragrance and the plant is not unlikely to be cultivated.’  [Journal of Botany British and Foreign p.353/1875].  Figured in Natal Plants [Wood – Natal Plants vol.3, pl.20/1902] and in Meerburgh’s Plantarum Selectarum Icones Pictae [Meerburgh Afb. pl.XXXXIII/1775].

I have no additional data on its introduction to gardens.  

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.911/1857].


Published Mar 13, 2009 - 04:37 PM | Last updated Mar 09, 2010 - 05:31 PM

The illustration shows oblong leaves and white flowers with butterfly (Papilio Kollina).  Meerburgh Afb. pl.XXXXIII, 175.

Royena villosa L. | Meerburgh Afb. pl.XXXXIII/175 | Missouri Botanic Garden Library - Rare Books (on line)

Family Ebenaceae
Region of origin

Southern Africa


Diospyros villosa (L.) De Winter

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Royena villosa 

Confidence level high