They'd been using the juices from a bright yellow fruit brought from the Terrans so long ago. They used it to eat away grease from engines and as an industrial-strength solvent, and to remove adhesives from various surfaces. Mixed another way, as a cleaning material that left a fairly pleasant scent. So imagine their surprise when humans were found to be plucking the fruit from the trees, mixing the juice with water and a little sugar, and drinking it! -- Anon Guest
Wholly organic citric acid was a wonder to the Brevicips. They could just grow it, and harvest the fruits once a year. No longer were they at the mercy of venal chemical merchants who took advantage of delicate Havenworlders. Like many things from Earth, the organism traveled further and faster than the cogniscent life from the same planet.
The Brevicips used the yellow fruit for a multitude of purposes. The trees were photogenic and often used for decoration. The flowers and their perfume were highly prized. As for the yellow fruit... Complicated chemical processes could separate the acid from the sugars within. The oil from the skin, once harvested and preserved, could also be used for other purposes. But the thing that made it most valuable to the Brevicips was the acid.
It could get grease and grime off of anything. It could unclog the worst of blockages in factory pipes. Sufficiently diluted and mixed with the aforementioned oils, it was even pressed to domestic use. So when they took to the greater areas of Galactic Alliance space, they took their precious trees with them. There, they also became part of the air recycling system. Welcome to Misty Station, here there be cleanser trees.