The Gurania Pages
Page 1
Amanda K. Neill

Gurania is a genus of approximately 40 species known as Jungle Cucumbers. Gurania and two other closely-related genera, Psiguria and Helmontia, comprise the Guraniinae subtribe in the Melothrieae tribe of the Cucurbitaceae, or cucumber and squash family of flowering plants. Gurania and Psigura were once combined in the genus Anguria (Gurania is an anagram of Anguria). The Guraniinae are found throughout the neotropics from southern Mexico and the Antilles to Bolivia.

Gurania and Psiguria are notable for their showy pink, orange, and red flowers, which are pollinated by Heliconius butterflies and hummingbirds (Helmontia has white flowers).  The flowers are always clustered in inflorescences, which may have from 7 to over 100 flowers.  Gurania flowers (above) have large colorful calyces and small yellow corollas, whereas Psiguria flowers (below) have showy corollas and a smaller, green calyx.

These are all inflorescences made up of staminate (male) flowers.  Pistillate (female) inflorescences are produced on the same plant, but usually during a separate reproductive phase, and apparently only on mature, larger plants (see page 3).  Staminate flowers have only two anthers, with almost no filament, attached inside the hypanthium (floral cup) above the nectary in the base of the flower.  Below are 4 Gurania species' flowers, long-sectioned, and one species of Psiguria.

Page 2     Page 3      Page 4

Photos by John Janovec and Michael Nee.
Last updated 24 May 2001 by Amanda Neill.