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

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

Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum Kab.

See Jasminum officinale L. for more information on the species.  More shrubby and robust than the type grandiflorum has larger, pink-tinged white flowers, to 4cm across.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on January 20 2010

Schotia latifolia Jacq.

Frost-tender, evergreen, domed or columnar tree with leaves composed of up to 5 pairs of leaflets, and many-branched, terminal panicles, to 13cm, of pink to red-brown flowers, followed by woody fruits, to 15cm long.  To 14m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on December 25 2009

Aquilegia glandulosa Fisch. var. grandiflora

For a description of the species see Aquilegia glandulosa Fisch.  Probably similar to the variety major, a larger form with blue and white flowers.  [Hortus].

Added on February 03 2009

Rosa ‘Bouquet de Flore’

Bourbon rose.  ‘Bouquet de Flore’ is a light, glossy carmine colour, the flowers large and double, cupped, sweet-scented and exquisite.  A hardy, vigorous and free-flowering rose with fine foliage.  An excellent autumnal bloomer and useful as a standard, pillar or for pots.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888), Rivers (1857, 1863), FC p.252/1850].


Added on February 12 2010

Prunus domestica ‘Early South American’

A Prunus domestica L. cultivar. This plum is unidentified but was probably imported directly from South America, from Rio de Janeiro, a frequent stopping place for ships on route to Australia. Many plants were imported this way.


Added on May 27 2010

Begonia sanguinea Raddi

Frost-tender, shrub-like begonia with red stems, medium, oval, shiny deep green leaves, red beneath, and clusters of up to 30 white flowers, suspended from the stems, from winter to spring.  To 1.2m.  A good hanging basket subject.  [RHSD, Hortus, Krempin].

Added on June 20 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


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 1: Introduction

‘Letters’ is an important book in the history of wine production in Australia and this is, I believe, the first time that the full text has been made available outside the major libraries. The value of William Macarthur’s book compared with earlier Colonial publications is that it is written from the perspective of over twenty years of experience of growing grapes and making wine in New South Wales. He does include theory from the pens of European authorities but the bulk of the book is written from personal experience. He is in effect saying ‘this is what we have found to work here’.

‘Letters’ is reproduced in 10 parts, beginning with the Introduction, which provides information on the history of the book and gives a synopsis of early experiences of vine importation and wine production.

Published Aug 27, 2010 - 05:50 PM | Last updated Nov 24, 2011 - 02:57 PM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 1

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 - 08:45 AM | Last updated Feb 29, 2012 - 03:08 PM

Edmund Blake - Gardener

Edmund Blake is important in the history of Camden Park gardens, where he was employed as a gardener from 1837 until probably at least 1867.  William Macarthur named three hybrid plants in his honour, Passiflora  ‘Blakei’, Gladiolus ‘Blakei’ and Erythrina ‘Blakei, testament to the high regard in which he was held.  Erythrina ‘Blakei’ has survived to this day. It is a magnificent shrub worthy of a place in any large garden.

Published Apr 03, 2010 - 03:35 PM | Last updated Aug 14, 2012 - 04:55 PM

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.