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

Malus domestica ‘Irish Reinette’

Fruit; medium size, oblong, five-sided and ribbed. Skin; yellowish green, strewed with minute russety dots, dull brownish red next the sun. Flesh; greenish yellow, crisp, very juicy, brisk and acid flavour. [HP pl.LIX/1878].


Added on April 15 2010

Crinum species North Coast

Probably a form of Crinum pedunculatum R.Br. which see for a description.

Added on May 07 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Octavia’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. Camden Park bred, seedling 66/52.  ‘Large irregular ragged flower, numerous irregular petals, but though very crowded, loose in character.  Middling.’  William Macarthur.  [MP A2948-6].  

Added on June 30 2009

Gladiolus (x colvilli) x (x gandavensis) [#3]

(Gladiolus x colvilli) x (Gladiolus x gandavensis) hybrid, no.3 in Macarthur’s notebook no.5 in an entry dated 1846.  ‘Very robust scape, large flowers, much paler than No.1 [Hero], purple orange blotches on lower lobes.  Good variety.’  [MP A2948-5].

Added on October 22 2009

Castanea sativa Mill.

Fully hardy, vigorous, broadly columnar tree with oblong, toothed, glossy, dark green leaves. It has edible fruit in autumn, with a number of cultivars grown particularly for their fruit.  To 30m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on March 04 2009

Cantua pyrifolia Juss. ex Lam.

Frost tender evergreen shrub or small tree with clusters of oblong leaves, to 7.5cm, toothed at the tips, arching habit and dense, erect racemes of creamy-white or straw-coloured flowers in spring.  To 5m.  [RHSD].

Added on March 03 2009

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Ait.) M.Roem.

Half-hardy evergreen shrub with thick and leathery, lance-shaped leaves, to 10cm long, and flattened, terminal panicles of white flowers in late summer, followed by small red berries.  To 4.5m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on February 05 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 - 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


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

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

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 4: Forming the Vineyard and Planting Vines

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters V and VI deal with the formation of the vineyard and planting the vines. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 1, a ground plan for a vineyard. This is probably based on his own third vineyard, commenced c.1830.

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 05, 2010 - 05:03 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.