Carissa bispinosa spines in opposite pairs can be effective weaponry for keeping animals and people at bay, depending on how hungry, careful and nimble they are. The forked spine-tips are soon brown and hard, their sharpness effective in skirmishes.
The equal (or dichotomous) division into two spines makes them easy to recognise in the veld; better seen than felt first.
Upper stems are stout from the start, rigid enough for backing the spines in defensive incidents. The stem is still smooth and green at its young tip, the wrinkling setting in later (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Pooley, 1993).