With a name meaning 'bitter fire', the hhyssk'et is a shrubby and thorny desert plant with very thin branches and small arrowhead-shaped leaves. The hhyssk'et grows on a thorny ground cover of the same name. Injury from the thorns produces an instant "chill-numbing" like effect that lasts for a few seconds before a burning sensation erupts at the site. Imagine a single nerve ending on fire, then magnify that by all the nerve endings around the injury site. It blossoms with pale pink six-petaled flowers that have dark red edges.
Hhyssk'et berry is a nut-like berry. The 'seeds' go from a leathery shell to rock-hard as they become ripe -- it is similar to a coconut shell. This protects the hhyssk'et berries from the yeehar, as those lumbering beasts are known to have quite the sweet tooth. The berry is about the size of a plum. The shells are carefully peeled open to obtain the thin membrane that lines the inside. The fiery hot membrane is then carefully removed to maintain its shape for stuffing with a highly sweetened fruit and meat mixture. The choice membranes are colored from a bright red to a deep burgundy.
The hhyssk'et juice is just the opposite of the membrane and is very sweet when the seed is fully ripened. It is said to often be an ingredient for making poisons palatable. The clear juice appears inside after the membrane "dies off" and become a deep, glistening onyx-colored lining on the inside of the shell. Only the texture of the exterior shell reveals the inner contents. When the shell is leather-like, there is a pepper membrane, and when it is rock hard, contained within is sweet juice.