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Monchique is one of the few places in the world where a million-year-old plant grows?
The ancients recommended that mothers-in-law be served adelfeira tea, a popular belief still associated with this rare and poisonous plant. Considered a relic because it bears witness to the subtropical climate that once existed in the Serra de Monchique (Monchique Mountain), the plant (Rhododendron ponticum subsp. Baeticum) is known for its lilac flower, which usually tints the green of the mountain from May onwards.
This species of plant currently only exists worldwide in the mountains of Monchique and Caramulo. It was quite abundant here many millions of years ago, but when the climate changed from tropical to Mediterranean, it was small enclaves like the Serra de Monchique (Monchique Mountain) that managed to maintain the conditions for its habitat.
Currently, there is a small footpath that follows the places where the plant is most abundant, next to Foia, the Adelfeiras Route.

Europe's largest magnolia was once located in Monchique?

On the fence of the Convento de Nossa Senhora do Desterro (Nossa Senhora do Desterro convent), a Franciscan monastery founded in 1631, there was once what was considered the largest evergreen magnolia tree in Europe. After its progressive decay, this tree finally fell in 2016, with an estimated age of over 200 years.
It was 27 metres high, with a crown 30 metres in diameter and a trunk diameter of over five metres. It is said to have been brought by the founder of the convent, Dom Pero da Silva, Viceroy of India, on one of his voyages, and the first written reference to it dates back to 1915. It was referred to as "the superb magnolia of Monchique".

Monchique has a rare "granite" exported to many places in the world?
Monchique is an important producer of nepheline syenite, a rare rock in Portugal and existing only in a few places on the planet. This rock is extracted at Pedreira da Nave (Nave Quarry) and exported to various countries in the world, such as China, the United States of America and Japan. The syenites are geological resources with various applications but currently, the nepheline syenite from Monchique is mainly used as ornamental rock and as cut stone for paving.
Commercially this rock is known as "Monchique granite", but geologically it is not a granite, as the chemical and mineralogical composition between granites and nepheline syenites is quite different. For example, granites are very rich in the mineral quartz while syenites are quite poor. In general, nepheline syenite presents a greyish colour, and brownish minerals are visible, corresponding to the nepheline minerals responsible for the name of this rock. The syenites have in common with granites the fact that they are of magmatic origin and the dimension and organisation of their minerals indicate that they were formed deep inside the Earth.