They have rough, russetted gold skin, with red flushes.
Inside they have yellowish, rich-tasting, firm flesh, tinged green in the centre. The flesh is aromatic, with occasionally a hint of clove or melon.
The tree is a light bearer, but the fruit hangs well on the tree.
Cornish Gilliflower Apples were discovered around 1800 in a garden near Truro, Cornwall, England. Introduced in 1813 by Sir Christopher Hawkins.
Victorians loved this apple, both for its appearance and taste, but russetted apples have since fallen out of fashion.
The name Gilliflower comes from the French word for “clove”, “giroflier”, which in turn came from the Greek “karyophyllon”, meaning nut leaf.
Gilliflower is also used to refer to plants with fragrant leaves, such as carnations.