Cassinopsis Ilicifolia is an indigenous Southern African shrub widely distributed from Zimbabwe to the Western Cape. This tree is found growing naturally in montane forests, forest margins, densely wooded cliffs and along streams.

This thorny shrub is fast growing (up to 800mm per year) and can reach a mature height of 5m. The glossy leaves of this evergreen shrub resemble those of the Illex species. The bright orange fruits and droopy habit of the branches makes C. ilicifolia an attractive specimen tree in the garden. Fruits of this shrub also attract different birds and insects to the garden.

Lemon thorn tree has a non-aggressive root system which makes it an ideal choice for planting close to buildings and paved areas. This shrub can also be successfully grown as a container plant however, it will need to be pruned quite often. Due to the sharp spines and dense growth habit, this tree would make and excellent security barrier or hedge.  In addition, the Lemon thorn is a good under-storey tree and will grow happily beneath larger trees, if it gets enough light. It is also frost and drought tolerant.