Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is it illegal to pick wild growing bluebonnets in texas?

I've always heard since I was little that it's illegal to pick bluebonnets in texas, since they're they state flower. Is this true, or just a rumor?

Is it illegal to pick wild growing bluebonnets in texas?
From the Houston Chronicle in 2003:

This is a widely known myth and it is probably the most-asked question this time of year. It is perfectly legal to pick wildflowers in Texas, including our state flower, the bluebonnet. The question is asked so often of the State Highway Patrol, which has a standardized statement that it faxes to people advising that it is perfectly legal to pick bluebonnets.

There are some ways, however, that you can get into trouble and even break the law while you're picking them. First of all, you cannot trespass onto people's property to get to the flowers. That means that you cannot crawl over fences or go through gates to get into the fields where the flowers are.

Secondly, you cannot block traffic with your vehicle when you stop to pick the flowers. And, in Texas, it is illegal to walk along the freeways or the shoulder of the freeways. It is also illegal to damage anyone's property, including the state's property, while you're picking the wildflowers. That includes making ruts in the grass or causing any type of damage to the landscape.

There are some areas where the state has actually planted bluebonnets and other wildflowers. Those are clearly marked. These are considered to be gardens, and gathering flowers in these areas is not allowed. If you are caught picking flowers in those areas, you will be asked to stop, but you will not be arrested or issued a ticket.

So, there are certainly ways to get into trouble while picking wildflowers and some folks have actually broken some laws while doing so. However, picking wildflowers — even bluebonnets — is not illegal and never has been. Just be careful how and where you do it.


You may also find useful this press release in April 2007 from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Reply:it is not illegal to pick bluebonnets in TX. It IS illegal, though, to displace or destroy fields or "patches" of blubonnet plants. I would think that this is virtually impossible to enforce but it is in the lawbooks, nonetheless.
Reply:It is a persistent urban legend that it is illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas

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