Submitted to: Cucurbit Network News
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 4, 2004
Publication Date: March 1, 2005
Citation: Davis, A.R., O'Reilly, R.G. 2005. Caribbean coralfruit. Cucurbit Network News. 12:1-2.
In 1891 Grosourdy named a new world cucurbit species, Doyerea emetocathartica (Grosourdy) Cogn. Prior to this, the species had several other synonyms, such as Corallocarpus emetocatharticus, Corallocarpus glomeratus and Anguria glomerata. Despite this confusion, Grosourdy's scientific nomenclature appears to be the most widely accepted and is still used today. This species not only has a handful of scientific names, it also has many common names, including: coralfruit. This woody perennial vine has been reported as an emetic, has also been prescribed by Latino healers in New York for treatment of uterine fibroid cysts, and has been reportedly used by the Mayan people in the Yucatán Peninsula as a remedy for snake bite, ulcers, rheumatism, and as an analgesic. This is a report of the first documented D. emetocathartica on Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands. The characteristics of the identified plants are discussed.