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Black Gilliflower

BLACK GILLIFLOWER is also known as Red Gilliflower, Black Sheepnose, Black Spitzenburg or just Sheepnose. Oblong in shape, it is a dark red deepening to black in skin color. Often the finish is dull and the skin is dry. The flesh is greenish-white, dry, coarse, mildly sub-acid and tender. It has a distinctive aroma and flavor. The large tree is upright growing. For dessert or culinary use, it must be picked before it becomes too ripe on the tree. After ripening, the fruit will hang on the tree into the winter. It was grown in Connecticut early in the 18th century and is considered by some to be one of the parents of Red Delicious. The fruit is particularly suitable for drying. In Virginia the fruit begins to ripen in September.

Ripening Period

  • Early Fall - September