Cassinopsis ilicifolia, commonly the lemon thorn and in Afrikaans lemoentjiedoring (little orange thorn), is a shiny-leaf shrub or small tree reaching heights up to 5 m (SA Tree List No. 420).
The bush scrambles among trees, its slender twigs zigzagging their way among surrounding vegetation. Sharp spines at the nodes will make their presence felt. The fruit is edible, but not really eatable.
The species distribution is in the south, the east and the northeast of the country, from the Western Cape south coast through the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal to much of the region north of the Vaal River. It also grows some neighbouring countries.
The habitat is margins of evergreen forests, wooded ravines and riverbanks. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
The family, Icacinaceae, also includes the genus Apodytes that is well-known in South Africa, but this family is better represented elsewhere in tropical areas. Lemon thorn does well in cultivation (Venter, 2012; ww.plantzafrica.com; http://redlist.sanbi.org).