Cornish Gilliflower

Why you should be excited

Cornish Gilliflower is an old English apple noted for its flavour and differing stories on how it got its name.

The story of Cornish Gilliflower

This interesting old variety was named either for the unusual clove-like scent of its blossoms or for the distinctive aroma of the fruit when cut. Take your pick.

Either way, Cornish Gilliflower is a favourite old English apple that wins people over mainly as a result of its strong, sweet, aromatic flavour and its pretty appearance (even with its tendency to be a bit bumpy in shape).

Hugely popular in Victorian England and considered the finest variety ever to come out of the Cornwall area, Cornish Gilliflower is an apple that positively cries out ‘Olde England.’

It even has a distinctive pink blossom to catch your eye each spring.

Cornish Gilliflower Facts

Its origins

Discovered near Truro, Cornwall, England, around 1800.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Intensely flavoured, rich and aromatic. While in cold storage, it develops a flowery quality.


A dark red flush partly covers its yellow background, usually with plenty of dots of russet.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in October).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Doesn't have a particular history as a cider apple, but -- like other heritage varieties -- it can contribute positively to cider blends.

Keeping ability

Good (around 3 months when kept refrigerated).