Cassinopsis ilicifolia is a decorative hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, large shrub with shiny, green leaves and with green, zig-zagged stems. 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. It can reach a mature height of up to 5m but is quite often much smaller..
Its distribution stretches from Zimbabwe in the North to Western Cape in the South. Cassinopsis ilicifolia is found growing naturally in montane forests, forest margins, densely wooded cliffs and along streams.
Cassinopsis ilicifolia is monoecious, so if you want fruit, plant at least three plants. Although a bit slow-growing, it is a worthwhile addition to any Highveld garden.
Cassinopsis ilicifolia’s shiny leaves look spectacular throughout the year makes and is ideal for planting as a specimen tree in small gardens. . This tree also makes a beautiful security hedge because of the spiny nature and dense crown. 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 frost tolerant and can grow well in both full sun and under semi-shade conditions.
It can also be grown successfully in a container as the root system is non-aggressive.
You may find stock of this plant at Random Harvest.