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Cornish Gilliflower apple trees

Cornish Gillyflower originates from the county of Cornwall. It was discovered in the early 19th century and quickly established a reputation as one of the highest quality apples available in Victorian England.

In the words of Victorian pomologist Robert Hogg it is "remarkable for its rich and aromatic flavour".

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Cornish Gilliflower apple trees for sale

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree MM106 rootstock £19.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock

How to grow

Cornwall experiences mild winters and summers which are warm but not necessarily hot. Cornish Gillyflower has some natural resistance to scab, a disease which likes these conditions. It is a moderately vigorous tree, fairly easy to grow although not especially heavy-cropping.

It is slightly unusual in being a tip-bearer - the apples are borne on the ends of the previous year's shoots. It is therefore best to keep pruning to a minimum to avoid pruning off next season's fruit buds.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Discovered by Sir Christopher Hawkins near the town of Truro, Cornwall, England and introduced in 1813. The word "gillyflower" or "gilliflower" or "July flower" are corruptions of the French word "girofle" meaning cloves - a reference to the clove-like scent of the blossom of this apple variety.

Cornish Gilliflower characteristics

Using

  • CroppingGood
  • Picking seasonVery late
  • Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Flavour qualityVery good
  • WildlifeRHS perfect for pollinators
  • Flavour style (apples)Aromatic
  • Food usesEating fresh
  • Discoloration of fruitOxidising

Growing

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • VigourAverage vigour
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingPartial tip-bearer

Problems

  • Disease resistanceGood

Climate

  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(5) -20F / -29C
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Cold (< 20C / 67F)

Identification

  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin1800 - 1849
  • Flower colourPink - light
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Fruit colourGreen