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Pifando

A mature pifando plant. Notice the concentration of larger leaves towards the bottom.

Pifando is a plant native to Zeconis. While there are more than 130 species of pifando, the chief commercial crop is pifandum. The more potent species, pifanco, is also widely used around the galaxy. It is the most widely-smoked herb in the Kuhneebo Conglomerate.

Dried pifando leaves are mainly smoked in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. They are also consumed as snuff, chewing pifando, and dipping pifando.

Pifando contains desoxapin, a harmless sugar to most species, but which acts as a mild stimulant to the Kuhneebo biology. Due to containing ethanol in cyclodextrin form, it is processed in the body as alcohol. When smoked, a species that reacts to alcohol, such as humans, can achieve similar effects to drinking liquor. The intensity varies with the strain, with most varieties exported. Stronger export strains cause individual cigarettes to have as much impact as a shot of hard liquor, while the weakest types may only elicit the same reaction as an ounce or less of beer.

The pifando plant is red in color, and consists of a central stalk with large leaves. Stalks can reach five meters if left unattended, but most pifando strains are harvested between fifty centimeters and two meters.

It is a very resilient plant, capable of growing in even the worst of conditions. It also enriches soil when it is grown, as it creates essential nutrients. Because of these two factors, pifando grew into popular use for crop rotation, allowing pre-modern farmers to improve their annual crop yields. However, due to its minimal nutritional value and difficulty in cooking, it became the primary plant of the smoking industry.

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