Cornish Gilliflower is probably the best and most widely-grown of the apple varieties originating from Cornwall. It has all the attributes of the classic Victorian English apple - notably a sweet aromatic flavour with perfumed overtones and an attractive flushed appearance. It is acknowledged as one of the best-flavoured English apples.
It is also a relatively good keeper, and can be eaten well into the new year.
The Victorian author Hogg explained the origin of the word "gilliflower" or "gillyflower" as being a corruption of the French word "girofle" signifying clove - and the blossom of this variety has a clove-like scent.
Hogg also recommends growing this variety as an espalier on dwarf rootstock - although modern authorities would not recommend this style because Cornish Gilliflower bears apples on the tips of its branches, making it unsuitable for training in this way.