Orchard Map‎ > ‎

Gilliflower of Gloucester

<Image of Fruit - size M, left aligned, wrap off>

Fruit: Apple
Use: Dessert, Cooking
Origin and History: UK; Saul, Glos, pre-1945
Season: Mid
Harvest Time: Sept
Store: Does not store well

Qualities and Taste:
Slightly scented, sweet rather dry, white flesh. (Source JM).
<Image of Blossom - size M, left aligned, wrap off>

Map Reference: A 9
Form: Standard
Rootstock: MM106

Additional Information:
Earliest known record is Pat Turner, who says his father grew this variety.  In 1945 three members of Long Ashton Research Station staff came to Mr Turner’s farm and collected graft material.  The Turner’s farm is at Milton End, Arlingham, and not nearby Saul, where this variety was supposed to be collected in 1952 for the National Fruit Collection.  Jasper Ely (1926-1996), who lived all his life in Saul, had never heard of this variety.
During my researches (in the 1990s) I did not come across this apple growing in Gloucestershire.  The only person I met who had heard of it was Pat Turner.  Mr Turner described how his father would keep some ‘Gilliflower of Gloucester’ apples on the mantelpiece because they were so beautiful.  Milton End was supplied with trees from the Cheltenham nursery of Fuller and Maylem, and Mr Turner thinks this could be the source of this tree.  
When considering the name of the ‘Cornish Gilliflower’, Robert Hogg (The Fruit Manual, 5th edition, London,1884) says it is derived from the French for ‘girofle’, signifying a clove, because the blossom is reputed to smell of that spice.  ‘Gilliflower’ is a name also given to wallflowers, and it was the name given to pinks in the Middle Ages.  Some of the oldest varieties of pinks do have a heavy scent of cloves.  I have asked a number of people to smell the blossom of the ‘Gilliflower of Gloucester’. Some say they can smell something.  None has ever identified cloves, as I never have.
(Source CM).

Comments