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

Rubus idaeus subsp. vulgatus ‘White Antwerp’

A Rubus idaeus L. subsp. vulgatus cultivar.‘Fruit large, conical, of a pale yellow colour, and with a fine, mild, sweet flavour. It produces pale-coloured spiny canes.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.265/1860].


Added on June 04 2010

Verbena x hybrida ‘White Perfection’

A cultivar of Verbena x hybrida Hort. ex Vilm., the Florists’ Verbena.  White.  ‘White Perfection’ was included in William Wood’s list of rich-coloured varieties which seems a little incrongruous.  [Gard. Chron. 1848].

Added on April 24 2009

Prunus avium ‘Black Tartarian’

A cultivar of Prunus avium L. ‘Large, obtuse heart-shaped; surface irregular and uneven. Skin deep black. Stalk an inch and a half long. Flesh purplish, juicy, half tender, and rich. Stone small, roundish oval. Succeeds well against a wall, when it is ready by the end of June.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.51/1860].


Added on April 22 2010

Begonia ottonis Walp.

Frost-tender, shrub-like begonia with small, oval, shiny green, serrated leaves and pinkish-white flowers, suspended in small clusters from the laterals, in summer.  To 1.2m.  [Krempin].

Added on June 20 2009

Lagunaria patersonia (Andr.) G.Don

Frost-tender, pyramidal to columnar tree, with lance-shaped leaves, to 10cm long, whitish-grey beneath, and a succession of pink, trumpet-shaped flowers, to 6cm across, mainly in summer, followed by ovoid seed capsules.  To 15m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 13 2010

Citrus reticulata ‘Tangerine’

The tangerine is a cultivar of Citrus reticulata Blanco. See Citrus reticulata ‘Mandarin Orange’ for a description of the Mandarin and Tangerine group.

‘Thorny Mandarin or Tangerine. One of the best-flavoured of all mandarins. Tree a dense bush requiring severe thinning out to bear large fruit; thorny, except some sub-varieties which are thornless. Fruit small to large, according to number of fruit, vigour of trees, and soil and climate; roundish, flattened, stem fine and firmly attached to fruit; skins tight, thin, and smooth, pale yellow. Pulp juicy and aromatic. This fruit becomes dry and puffy if allowed to hang too long.’ [Despeissis p.243/1903]. 

Added on May 04 2010

Paeonia fimbriata Hort.Angl. ex Sabine

Probably the same plant as ‘Paeonia paradoxa fimbriata’ of the catalogues.  See Paeonia officinalis L. ssp. villosa (Huth.) Cullen & Heyw. for details. 

Added on January 29 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


Colonial Australian Wines

The following article appeared in The Gardeners’ Chronicle of Saturday, November 25th, 1854. It includes a review of seven wines sent to the proprietors of The Gardeners’ Chronicle from Camden Park by William Macarthur, together with his notes on the wines, the vineyards in which they were produced and the economic conditions pertaining to wine production and sale in Australia. Macarthur’s brief notes, when read with the more detailed essay Some Account of the Vineyards at Camden, extends our knowledge of wine production at Camden but most importantly provides an external (but not necessarily unbiased) view of the quality of the wines.

Published Jun 30, 2011 - 02:12 PM | Last updated Jul 04, 2011 - 09:00 AM

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

A Few Words on Gesneraceous Plants

The family Gesnereaceae was an important contributor to the diversity of the colonial garden of Camden Park, with 97 plants described in the Hortus, mainly from the genera Achimenes and Sinningia. This short article provides a good overview of the history of Gesneriads as garden plants, and some very useful advice on their culture. Unfortunately I have lost the source reference, but the content suggests that it was written for an Australian colonial readership. The article is simply signed L.W.

Published Jun 26, 2010 - 03:01 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2010 - 03:19 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 5: Management and Replenishment of the Vineyard

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters VII and VIII deal with the management of the vineyard after planting, the use of manures and the replenishment of an exhausted vineyard. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 2, a section of a vineyard. This is referred to in detail in Part 4, however it does illustrate the method of vine culture recommended and described here, the dwarf-standard method which at this time was practiced mostly in the north of France.

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 09, 2010 - 05:49 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 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.