The lemon thorn tree is a decorative hardy evergreen small tree or shrub with a much-branched crown, this tree can reach a mature height of up to 5m. Its distribution stretches from Zimbabwe in the North to Western Cape in the South. This tree is found growing naturally on forest margins and along streams.

This zig zag branched tree is characterised with glossy leaves which are arranged in a opposite manner. Its bark is green and smooth when young, becoming greyish brown and spiny on older branches. From September to November, Cassinopsis ilicifolia bears white to cream flowers on thin leaf stalks. These are followed by orange drupe fruits which attract various bird species to the garden.

Cassinopsis ilicifolia’s shiny leaves that look spectacular throughout the year makes it ideal for planting as a specimen tree in small gardens. It can also be grown successfully in a container as the root system is non-aggressive. This tree also makes a beautiful hedge because of the dense crown. It is frost tolerant to a certain extent and can grow well in both full sun and under semi-shade conditions.