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

Aesculus x carnea Hayne

A hybrid between Aesculus hippocastanum L. and Aesculus pavia L.  A hardy tree, to 20m or more, with toothed leaves with five to seven leaftets, and panicles, to 2cm long, of deep pink flowers. [RHSD, Hilliers’].

Added on February 21 2009

Rosa centifolia L. var. muscosa

The ‘Common Moss Rose’ is the original mossy sport of R. x centifolia L., first recorded in the 17th century.  It is a large sprawling shrub with highly scented, well-mossed, double pink flowers, to 8cm across, very large and full, globular in shape.  [Rivers (1854, 1857, 1863,) Paul (1848, 1863, 1888, 1903), Amat].  Gore describes its flowers as full, middle-sized to large, of a light pure pink colour.  



Added on February 12 2010

Rosa ‘Madame Bois’

Hybrid Perpetual.  ‘Madame Bois’ was described by Paul as a fine light rose colour, in the way of ‘Victor Verdier’.  [Paul 1903].



Added on February 12 2010

Pseudotsuga taxifolia Britton

Very large, densely branched evergreen conifer, the lower branches of mature trees often resting on the ground, bark thick, corky and fissured, cones pendulous, to 10cm long.  To 80m or more.  A very important source of timber.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Added on January 24 2009

Fuchsia ‘Sir H. Smith’

I have found no description of this cultivar.  

Added on August 19 2009

Freesia viridis (Ait.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning

A cormous perennial with many, narrowly sword-shaped leaves to 15cm and a zigzag stem, to 45cm, bearing many green flowers in summer.  [RHSE, Grey].  

Added on October 28 2009

Araucaria cunninghamii D.Don

Frost-tender evergreen conical or columnar tree with whorled branches with characteristic tufts of young shoots at the tips and sides, spirally-arranged, needle-like young leaves, crowded, overlapping mature leaves, and ovoid female cones, to 10cm long, with smaller, cylindrical male cones.  To 50m.  [RHSE, Hortus, FNSW].

Added on January 24 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


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 - 01:56 PM | Last updated Jul 26, 2011 - 04:59 PM

Florists’ flowers

Floristry, in the 17th, 18th and 19th century meaning of the word, the growing and improvement of flowering plants for the sake of their beauty alone, has a long history in China and Asia but is of relatively recent origin in Europe.  From quite humble beginnings, the small scale leisure activity of artisans and labourers, it attracted the attention of the owners of the great pleasure gardens and botanic gardens of Europe.  Specialised nurseries began to appear to service great and small gardens, providing a means of disseminating the beautiful new varieties which the nurseries were both breeding and obtaining from enthusiastic amateurs.

Published Mar 12, 2010 - 03:41 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 05:30 PM

The Fuchsias of Camden Park

The first fuchsia introduced to English gardens in 1788 was a variety of Fuchsia magellanica Lam.  This new plant soon attracted the attention of florists and, stimulated by the regular introduction of new species and varieties from South America, selection and hybridisation saw a rapidly increasing number of named varieties available through the nurseries.  The first record of a fuchsia at Camden Park is Fuchsia conica, which arrived on board the ‘Sovereign’ in February 1831.  By 1857 fifty-eight species, cultivars and hybrids had been recorded as growing in the gardens.

Published Mar 14, 2010 - 10:50 AM | Last updated Jun 24, 2011 - 02:45 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 9: Preparation of Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XVI and XVII describe the manufacture of wine from secondary fermentation to bottling and storage. The illustration used here is Plate 3 from Letters, which illustrates some of the equipment used in the manufacture of wine, described here and in earlier parts.

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 Oct 03, 2010 - 10:34 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:13 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.