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.

Camden Park House from the East Lawn. Photography by Leigh Youdale

Selected plants in the Hortus

Aechmea fulgens Brongn.

Frost tender epiphytic perennial with funnel-shaped rosettes of broadly strap-shaped, bright green leaves and red stems bearing branched inflorescences of 2-5 red and violet flowers in summer.  To 50cm.  [RHSE].

Added on February 20 2009

Ceratopetalum species unidentified

Genus of 5 species of evergreen shrubs and trees from open woodland and rainforest in Australia and New Guinea, valued for their panicles of flowers which give an even showier display of enlarged, brightly coloured calyces after the flowers have finished.  The genus includes Ceratopetalum gummiferum Sm., the Australian Christmas tree, much used in floristry in Australia, and C. apetalum D.Don, the Coachwood, both of which are native to the Sydney and Illawarra regions of New South Wales.  [FNSW, Beadle].  It could also be a species belonging to another genus in the family Cunoniaceae or the related Baueraceae.

Added on February 26 2009

Quercus ilex L.

Frost-hardy, rounded evergreen tree with smooth, dark bark, lance-shaped, entire or toothed leaves, to 8cm long, and nearly round acorns.  To 25m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on February 03 2010

Corylus avellana L.

Fully hardy upright or tree-like shrub with broadly heart-shaped leaves and pendant catkins in winter and spring, followed by the edible nuts.  To 5m.  An important economic crop.  The Filbert differs from the common Hazel-nut in having nuts in ones, twos or threes completely enclosed in a longer, lobed husk.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’]. 

Added on March 11 2009

Rhododendron indicum Sweet var. coronata

Azalea coronata is ‘a vivid rose, with a violet tinge, slightly spotted.  Very showy, and worth growing.’  [FC p.138/1848].  ‘Distinct and a free bloomer.’  [FC p.190/1857].

Added on June 04 2009

Pentas lanceolata (Forssk.) Deflers.

Frost-tender, erect or prostrate, woody-based, evergreen perennial with lance-shaped, hairy leaves, to 15cm long, and corymbs of long-tubed, pink, magenta, blue, lilac or white flowers, to 1.5cm across, from spring to autumn. To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on February 08 2010

Arbutus andrachne L.

Spreading, sometimes shrubby tree with smooth, peeling, red-brown bark and white flowers in erect panicles in spring, followed by spherical, warty, orange-red fruit, which ripen in the autumn of the following year.  To 6m by 6m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on January 04 2009


Improvements to Hortus Camdenensis

The Hortus software has been upgraded. This led to some minor errors in the layout of plant names, particularly in the headings of Plant Profile pages but these have now been largely overcome. Improvements are also progressively being made to the content of the Hortus in three main areas, botanical and horticultural history, cross referencing and illustrations. Some enhancements will be done as the opportunity arises but most will be completed family by family. This will take at least two years to complete.



Published Sep 14, 2010 - 04:06 PM | Last updated Aug 12, 2012 - 04:36 PM

Sir William Macarthur on Vines and Vineyards

Sir William Macarthur wrote extensively on vines and Vineyards. It is our intention to publish all his writings in the Hortus.

Published Aug 01, 2010 - 04:58 PM | Last updated Oct 04, 2010 - 04:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.


Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 05:19 PM

Open House and Gardens

Camden Park House and Gardens will be open to the public on Saturday 22nd September, 2012, from 12.00 noon until 4.00 pm, and Sunday 23rd from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm.


Published Dec 30, 2009 - 02:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 05:31 PM


Thomas Harris (1885-1948)

Thomas Harris, born in Worcestershire in 1885, was a gardener at Camden Park from 1913 to 1938.

Published Aug 16, 2012 - 11:09 AM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:12 PM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 4

Rambles in New Zealand is the only published work of John Carne Bidwill of any length and an important document in the early colonial history of that country.
It is included in the Hortus for a number of reasons but mainly because, together with his letters to The Gardeners’ Chronicle, it completes the known published works of Bidwill. His importance in the history of the Camden Park gardens and the lack of any substantive treatment of his life and achievements make it appropriate to include all his published work here.
Rambles is published here in four parts:
Part 1 – dedication, Preface, pages 1-29
Part 2 – pages 30-59
Part 3 – pages 60-89
Part 4 – pages 90 -93, List of Subscribers

Published Feb 29, 2012 - 02:37 PM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:13 PM

Camellias at Camden Park

Most of the camellias grown at Camden Park are cultivars of Camellia japonica L., the ‘Common camellia’, a native of China, Korea and Japan.  The first plant introduced to Britain in 1739, and figured in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine [BM t.42/1788], is close to the wild type.  It bears single red flowers in early spring but is rarely planted now and was not grown at Camden Park.  William Macarthur was an important breeder of camellias and many of the cultivars described in the Hortus were bred by him.  Unfortunately few of these have survived.  

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 02:43 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:46 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 7: The Vintage (Continued)

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI, reproduced in Part 6, dealt with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The vintage is continued in Part 7, letters XII and XIII giving a description of grape harvesting and crushing. The illustration used here is an excellent lithograph showing the grape harvest at the third vineyard at Camden Park in 1878.

The entire book is reproduced in the Hortus in ten parts. For background information and Macarthur’s Introduction to the book see Part 1.



Published Sep 24, 2010 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 AM

About the Hortus

The Hortus attempts to correctly identify, describe, illustrate and provide a brief history of all the plants grown at Camden Park between c.1820 and 1861.

Plants in the Hortus

The Hortus plants served a wide range of purposes: ornament, living fences, fibre, dyestuffs, medicine, food from the garden and orchard, and many others.

Plant Families

Plants in the Hortus are grouped by Family, perhaps the most useful of the higher order classifications.


Essays enhance the Hortus by providing a level of detail about the gardens, people, and plants that would be inappropriate for an individual plant profile.

Hortus News

News provides an opportunity for people interested in the gardens to keep in touch with the work being done to maintain and reinvigorate the gardens and receive advance notice of events such as Open Garden days.