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

Protea rosacea L.

Half hardy, compact shrub with slender branches, linear leaves, to 24cm, occasionally flushed red, and a perpendicular inflorescence composed of brilliant rose to crimson or mahogany bracts, buff in the centre, and reddish flowers in a crowded cone, in late spring.  To 1.2m.  [RHSD].

Added on March 21 2010

Gardenia resinifera Roth.

Frost-tender, unarmed shrub or small tree with shiny, oblong leaves with resinous buds and solitary, almost terminal, large, pure white, fragrant flowers.  [Don].

Added on February 08 2010

Hibiscus mutabilis L. var. florepleno

See Hibiscus mutabilis L. for information on the species.   Florepleno is the double-flowered form.  


Added on January 11 2010

Gladiolus (x colvilli) x (x gandavensis) colvilli-gandavensis [#10]

(Gladiolus x colvilli) x (Gladiolus x gandavensis) hybrid, no.10 in Macarthur’s notebook no.5 in an entry dated 1846.  ‘Pink inclining to scarlet in stripes upon whitish ground, purple feathered blotches upon lower lobes, large well shaped flowers, slender scape.  Curious variety and good.’  [MP A2948-5].

Added on October 22 2009

Gladiolus cardinalis x (x gandavensis) [#1]

Gladiolus cardinalis x Gladiolus x gandavensis hybrid no.1 in Macarthur’s notebook no.4 in an entry dated 1847.  ‘Cardinali inflatus x by Gandavensis No.1 (only).  Moderately robust scape a little branching, large well shaped flowers, bright deep rose pink or crimson with a little yellow [word indistinct] [word indistinct] purple on lower lobes and purple [word indistinct] – Corolla rather too uniform but a pretty good variety.  The first [word indistinct] of the batch handsome.’  [MP A2948-4].

Added on October 22 2009

Lotus jacobaeus L.

Half-hardy, erect perennial with pinnate leaves, composed of 5 linear leaflets, to 4cm long, and axillary clusters of pea-like, chocolate to purple-brown flowers plus some yellow on the same plant, mainly in summer.  To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on December 23 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


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

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

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

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 8: Fermentation of the Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XIV and XV describe primary and secondary fermentation of the wine. The illustration used here is a photograph of the cellars at Camden Park House.

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 30, 2010 - 05:11 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.