Granny Smith is a good dessert apple, but it needs a lot of sun and warmth to fully mature flavourwise. It is a strong grower and a healthy tree. It easily sets fruit. It has good pollination qualities and is, in most areas of the UK, a heavy cropper. It needs to be picked very late, around early November time. It lacks flavour, but later in the season it becomes quite sweet. It stores well. Best eaten well after Christmas.
Granny Smith was Maria Ann Smith, who emigrated from Beckley, East Sussex, to Australia in 1839 with her husband Thomas. They became fruit growers, and one day in about 1868 Maria Ann found a chance seedling that had grown near her house. She propagated it and found that while the fruit looked like cooking apples, they were in fact crisp and sweet. Maria Ann died in 1870 but the variety had been noticed by other growers. By 1890 it had become locally successful, and in the early 20th century it became an important export commodity for Australia. All the Granny Smith trees in the world are clones of Maria Ann Smith’s original tree.