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.

Virgilia oroboides (Bergius) Salter

Borderline frost-hardy, fast-growing shrub or small tree, usually with several main stems, pinnate leaves, to 20cm long, composed of up to 21 narrow leaflets, and racemes of up to 12, pea-like, fragrant, white, pink, crimson or purple flowers, to 2cm across, in spring and summer.  To 9m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This species varies much in the size of the leaflets; in some native specimens they are very narrow and small and seldom more than twelve-paired.  It is a very handsome greenhouse shrub, native of the Cape of Good Hope.  Propagated by cuttings.’  Introduced to Britain in 1767 by Thomas Cornwall.  [BM t.1590/1813].  

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.1000/1850].


Published Dec 26, 2009 - 11:29 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 02:37 PM

Figured are pinnate leaves with narrow leaflets and pale pink pea-like flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1590, 1813.

Virgilia oroboides (Bergius.) Salter | BM t.1590/1813 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

  • Sophora oroboides Bergius
  • Virgilia capensis Lam.  
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Virgilia capensis 

Confidence level high