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CUCUMIS sativus 'Early Fortune'

Image of Cucumis sativus 'Early Fortune'



Botanical Name

CUCUMIS sativus 'Early Fortune'

Plant Common Name

Cucumber, Early Fortune Cucumber, Slicing Cucumber

General Description

Whether grown for pickles or as a salad cucumber, 'Early Fortune' is a worthwhile productive, disease-resistant heirloom worth trying. It was discovered in 1900 in George Starr's Michigan garden as a seedling variant of 'Davis Perfect' and was first sold commercially in 1910 by the Jerome B. Rice Seed Company of Cambridge, New York. The cucumbers are attractive emerald to dark green with crisp, lightly seeded flesh. These cucumbers remain firm and store and ship well. Plants mature earlier than average producing fruits only 55 to 60 days after sowing seeds. Depending on personal preference, the cucumbers are best picked when small and crisp but can reach 8 inches (20 cm) long, though larger fruits are less crisp and sweet.

Asian in origin, cucumbers have been cultivated since ancient times. These frost-tender annual vines thrive in the warmth and sunshine of summer. They have large, broadly lobed leaves that are green and scratchy to the touch. When mature they produce yellow flowers that are either male or female. Pollen-bearing male flowers are produced first, followed by the fruit-bearing female flowers. The female flowers are easily recognizable by the bulbous ovaries at their bases.

Mature cucumbers are elongated or rounded, can be various shades of green and have small prickles on their skins. Some cucumbers are bred to be harvested young for pickles while others are raised to be harvested when more mature and used for slicing. Over ripe specimens turn yellow and have softer flesh and large, firm and inedible seeds, so it’s best to harvest them when they are young and crisp.

Grow your cucumbers in full sun and fertile, evenly moist, perfectly drained garden loam. After the threat of frost passes, sow cucumber seeds directly in the ground. If transplanting container-grown plants, take care to not damage their tender white roots unless they are root-bound. Root-bound plants can be saved only if their roots are gently teased apart before planting. Be sure to harvest fruits regularly, so they will continue to flower and produce fruit.

Cucumbers may be trained on a trellis or cage or allowed to ramble freely across the ground. Fresh or pickled, cucumbers are a favorite vegetable, and they are as easy to grow as they are tasty.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6"-10" / 15.2cm - 25.4cm

  • Width

    8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Southern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH


  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type


  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color


  • Fruit Color

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fruit Color Modifier


  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing