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

Prunus domestica ‘St. Martin Quetsche’

A Prunus domestica L. cultivar. Fruit medium sized, ovate, or rather heart-shaped. Skin pale yellow, covered with white bloom. Flesh yellowish, sweet, and well-flavoured, separating from the stone. Shoots smooth. A very late plum. Ripe in the middle of October. [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.254/1860].


Added on May 27 2010

Daboecia cantabrica (Huds.) K.Koch.

Fully-hardy, prostrate to erect shrub with lance-shaped leaves, lustrous above and silver-hairy beneath, and 10cm long racemes of rounded urn-shaped purple-pink flowers in summer and autumn.  To 40cm.  There are many garden varieties.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers']. 

Added on January 09 2009

Ligustrum japonicum Thunb.

Fully-hardy, upright, dense, evergreen shrub, with ovate, glossy leaves, to10cm long, and panicles, to 15cm long, of white flowers, in summer and autumn, followed by black fruit.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hortus, FNSW, Hilliers'].

Added on January 20 2010

Picea abies (L.) Karst. var. excelsa

See Picea abies (L.) Karst. for details of the species.  Probably a different form to the plant described under this name.  There are many garden forms of the common, or Norway spruce. 

Added on July 14 2009

Gleichenia microphylla R.Br.

Rhizomatous, creeping, clump-forming terrestrial fern with pinnate leaves with slightly recurved margins.  [RHSD, FNSW, Beadle].

Added on February 11 2009

Rhododendron anthopogon D.Don

Compact dwarf shrub with scaly branchlets, leaves to 3cm long, and terminal clusters of narrowly tubular cream to deep pink flowers in spring.  To 60cm.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on June 18 2009

Holmskioldia sanguinea Retz.

Frost tender, erect, then scrambling shrub with slightly toothed, ovate leaves, to 10cm long, and racemes, to 12cm long, of narrowly trumpet-shaped crimson and orange-red flowers, to 2.5cm long, from summer to autumn.  To 10m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on February 15 2010


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 - 03:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.

Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 04:19 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 - 01:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 04:31 PM


The Family Amaryllidaceae at Camden Park

Amaryllidaceae was a very significant family of plants in the history of the Camden Park gardens.  The following Essay provides a little background to these important plants.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 04:11 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:54 PM

History of the Florists’ Gloxinia

In the 19th century the florists’ Gloxinia was a very popular plant with hundreds of varieties under propagation.  Out of fashion today, these beautiful and easily grown plants deserve to be revived.  William Macarthur would not have recognised the large, multi-coloured flowers that dominate the show bench today but the plants he grew, predominantly of the slipper, or wild type, were equally beautiful.

Published Mar 14, 2010 - 12:56 PM | Last updated Jul 26, 2011 - 04:59 PM

Australian native plants in the Hortus

Australian native plants were important to the gardening enterprises of Camden Park.  Even today Australian trees such as Araucaria species, Agathis robusta, Brachychiton populneum, Lagunaria pattersonia, Grevillea robusta and several species of palm very much define the landscape of the gardens.  Australian plants, particularly native orchids and ferns, were sent to England in large numbers in exchange for the exotic plants that were so much desired by Macarthur and his fellow colonists.

Published Mar 13, 2010 - 04:22 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:32 PM

Camden Park Roses

Roses were very important to the Camden Park gardens, 297 are listed in the Hortus, substantially more than the next largest genus, Camellia with 140 plants.  This brief review summarises the major types of rose grown and discusses the change in profile of roses over the decades from 1843 to 1861. 

Published Feb 13, 2010 - 02:27 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 11:02 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.