Salt Spring Apple Co.
Our Apples

Our Top 25

Here they are: our premiere selection of apple varieties. We consider these to be the varieties most likely to consistently produce magnificent and memorable fruit in our Salt Spring Island orchard. Read more


Cider Kings

We definitely don't stop at 25 varieties. In fact, we consider these 29 traditional cider varieties (with a few crab-apples and a diminutive super-juicer thrown in) to be the secret to Real Cider. They're most certainly worth checking out. Read more


The Whole 333+

In a world blessed with thousands of apple varieties, not making our Top 25 or Cider Kings lists is hardly cause for embarrassment. Every one of these 333+ apples is a winner in our books. Read more

Black Gilliflower

Why you should be excited:

Black Gilliflower is an old U.S. apple variety that some people think was one parent of Red Delicious.


apple_blackgilliflower.jpgThe story of Black Gilliflower:

I must admit that I prefer the alternative name for this variety that was once popular in the American northeast -- Sheepnose -- and the name of the Southern U.S. variety that some say is the same apple -- Crow's Egg -- to the slightly less evocative and more conservative-sounding Black Gilliflower.

Whatever you call it, this relatively obscure apple first became known somewhere around the early 1700s and is best remembered for its distinctive flavour -- it's considered by many to be an acquired taste -- and the widely held theory that this is one of the parents of the once-ubiquitous Red Delicious.

But don't hold that association against Black Gilliflower, which is an oblong-shaped apple that exudes the character of 18th century Connecticut.

Black Gilliflower Facts

Its origins:

Unknown origins, likely in Connecticut, USA, early 18th century.

Flavour, aroma, texture:

The dryish, coarse and tender flesh has a distinctive aroma and flavour with a hint of sweetness. Some love it, others not so much.


Medium to large in size, this oblong-shaped apple (shaped like a sheep's nose, some say) has a dull, dark-red skin that sometimes verges on black.

When they’re available:

Late season (usually in mid-October).

Quality for fresh eating:


Quality for cooking:


Keeping ability:

So-so (about a month when kept refrigerated).

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Salt Spring Apple Company Ltd.

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