Perennial climber with up to 6 m long, woody, cylindrical stem, a thick, trunk-like base, and a dioecious sex system. The leaves are simple, petiolate, the blade rounded-cordate, unlobed or trilobed (sometimes to almost trifoliolate), often with prominent, marginal callosities. The tendrils are simple, woody, with thickened base that persists as conical spur-like structure. The inflorescence is a short, sessile, few- to 40-flowered, axillary raceme. The flowers are small and produced in dense clusters. The receptacle-tube is turbinate-campanulate with five valvate, acute, to 1 mm long sepals. The corolla is rotate with five yellowish-green petals. The three stamens are inserted near the mouth of the tube on (very) short filaments. Two anthers are bithecous, one monothecous. The thecae are curved and contain tricolporate, reticulate, small pollen (polar axis c. 43 µm, equatorial axis c. 41 µm, (Khunwasi 1998)). The ovary is ellipsoidal with two placentae and 4-6 ovules per locule. The style is thick, simple, with penicillate-fringed, bilobed stigmata. The fruits are ellipsoid or oblong, fleshy, rostrate, 1-3 cm long, indehiscent, thin-walled, ripening red with white spots and contain 8-15, pear-shaped, slightly compressed seeds, 3-4 mm long, with reddish brown testa and distinct pale brown margin.
The only species, D. emetocathartica, grows at low altitudes in dry thickets and woodlands or on rocky slopes in the Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela, the Guyanas, and Brazil.
Phylogenetically, Doyerea is placed in the tribe Coniandreae near Wilbrandia, Psiguria and Gurania but its exact position is still unclear (Schaefer et al., 2009; Schaefer & Renner, 2011)
D. emetocathartica Grosourdy ex Bello, Anales Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 10: 273. 1881.
Jeffrey, C., and B. Tujillo. 1992. Cucurbitaceae. (pp. 1-202). In: G. Morillo (ed.), Flora de Venezuela; 5,1. Instituto Nacional de Parques, Caracas.
Khunwasi, C. 1998. Palynology of the Cucurbitaceae. Doctoral Dissertation Naturwiss. Fak., University of Innsbruck.
Schaefer, H. and S.S. Renner. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships in the order Cucurbitales and a new classification of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae). Taxon 60: 122-138.
Schaefer, H., Heibl, C., and S.S. Renner. 2009. Gourds afloat: a dated phylogeny reveals an Asian origin of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) and numerous oversea dispersal events. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 843-851.