The cucumber is believed native to India, and evidence indicates that it has been cultivated in western Asia for 3,000 years. From India it spread to Greece and Italy, where the Romans were especially fond of the crop, and later into China. It was probably introduced into other parts of Europe by the Romans, and records of cucumber cultivation appear in France in the 9th century, England in the 14th century, and in North America by the mid-16th century. Throughout the 1500s, European trappers, traders, buffalo hunters, and explorers bartered for the products of Native American agriculture. The tribes of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains learned from the Spaniards how to grow European vegetables. Next to tomatoes, cabbage, and onions, cucumbers are the fourth most widely cultivated vegetable in the world.