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The Man 'o War of Cucumbers

Arlington claims a special place in the world of cucumbers. It was here that one of the first great American varieties of cucumbers was developed.

That was done in 1886 by Mr. W. W. Rawson, owner of a large farm here in Arlington, founder of fruit and vegetable seed company, and author of one of the country's first books on market gardening.

Rawson's big contribution to cucumbers was the Arlington White Spine Cucumber, a new variation on a traditional white spine variety that had come to the US decades earlier from Europe.

Arlington White Spine was almost immediately recognized around the country as a great slicing cucumber (as contrasted to pickling). Lots of other growers picked it up and started in immediately in trying to improve it still further.

That process gave rise to lots of new descendents for the Arlington White Spine. Like Man 'o War, the greatest racehorse of the last century, Arlington White Spine has sired many outstanding offspring.

Look in any reputable database of cucumber varieties and you'll see that the Arlington White Spine Cucumber claims more offspring than almost any other single variety. The list at the right gives the names of a good number of them.

Plant esearchers are still today crossbreeding Arlington White Spines with other cucumber varieties, trying to come up with new, still more versatile varities.