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Black Gilliflower apple

Very uniform in shape and size. Large, oblong, conical ribbed fruit. Dark red deepening to almost black. Greenish white flesh. Rich, mild, sweet flavor and distinctive aroma. Hangs long on the tree but must not be allowed to over ripen as flesh soon becomes dry.

USDA identification images for Black Gilliflower

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Black Gilliflower
  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Black Gilliflower
  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Black Gilliflower

Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

Visitor reviews

  • 25 Nov 2015  MASSACHUSETTS, United States
    A dry apple with very little to no juice. Becomes very dry and fibrous in storage. One apple that makes Red Delicious taste... well, delicious by comparison. Bleech.
  • 17 Oct 2014  CT, United States
    I have a Sheepnose volunteer on my property. It's about 30' tall and wide. It is a prodigious produces and the apples are crisp, sweet and perfumy. I have a 2' high Sheepnose that I grew from seed in a pot so that I can take it with me when I move. When making a pie add some apple or cranberry juice to the apple mix.
  • 03 May 2014  CO, United States
    I grew up on a farm in PA growing 'sheepnose' apples; They are a very sweet & delicious eating apple. They are hardy and last well. Will make good pies but tend to be a little dry for pies. Excellant apple variety!

Tree register

United States


Spring blossom records for this variety

2021 season

  • 4th May  2021  - tree owned by Milovan in Ellington, United States

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.


  • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
  • Originates from: Connecticut, United States
  • Introduced: 18th century


  • Country of origin: United States
  • Fruit size: Average
  • Fruit size: Large


  • Picking season: Late
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour quality: Average
  • Flavour style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
  • Flavour style (apples): Aromatic
  • Food uses: Eating fresh
  • Food uses: Drying
  • Flavour style (apples): Dry / nutty


  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer

Where to buy fresh fruit

The following orchards grow Black Gilliflower:

United States

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