It's that those old wives' story that sounds just Texan sufficient to be real. However here's the thing, there's no regulation on Texas publications making the illegal to choose bluebonnets.

You are watching: Is it against the law to pick bluebonnets


Bluebonnets fill grassy hills near the intersection of mountain Creek Pkwy and S Walton pedestrian Blvd top top Tuesday, in march 29, 2016 in Dallas.(Ashley Landis / staff Photographer)
It"s springtime in Texas, which means a time-honored heritage for wildflower lover everywhere.

You know the drill: very closely wade right into a spot of bluebonnets and squat down for a photo, but don"t like or pick them. It"s versus the law, right?

It"s one of those urban legends that sounds just Texan sufficient to it is in real. Everyone "knows" the legislative branch has protected the state flower through making it a crime to damages it.

But don"t go planning a flower-picking party just yet. It might not it is in illegal to ruin the state flower, however it"s almost certainly bad Texas karma.

"There"s a number of myths about our aboriginal plants, and also that"s just one," said Joe Marcus, a program manager in ~ the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, who knows well exactly how we"re attracted to catch the springtime sight.

"It"s a birthright in Texas to put your baby"s rear finish on a bluebonnet and take a picture. I"m only half-joking around that."

Gina Rokas, travel director for the city of Ennis, laughs as soon as she hears the anti-picking myth. Ennis is the official Bluebonnet City the Texas and also brings in hundreds of tourists for the annual Bluebonnet Trails Festival, i m sorry this year is April 15-17.

"We perform hear that a lot," she said, especially among folks from outside the state. "It"s really sweet as soon as they ask, "Can I just pick one because they"re therefore beautiful.""

This is the 65th year because that the Ennis festival, Rokas said, yet it"s yes, really taken turn off in the last 10 years because the development of social media. Walk to Ellis County throughout peak-bloom (best estimates say second week the April this year, Rokas said) and also you"ll discover bumper-to-bumper web traffic along the trails together people try to gain their perfect portrait.

Rokas claimed she jokes with visitors who ask around picking the flowers, but she hopes human being won"t actually go v with it.

"We simply say if everybody"s picking them, they won"t go back to seed," Rokas said. "It provides us an chance to phone call them not to trespass onto personal property."

Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a spokesman for the Texas department of publicly Safety, claimed that while in reality picking the wildflowers isn"t a crime, it"s important to be safe while setup up because that photos.

The grassy area close to a busy highway could offer a quite backdrop, yet make certain to pull totally off the roadway prior to getting out for photos.

"Obviously in the Metroplex, friend wouldn"t avoid along 635 anywhere," the said. "You want to do sure civilization are safe."

Haschel additionally said to stop private property, since picking bluebonnets may not it is in a crime, yet trespassing certain is. Parents should keep an eye the end for other dangers in wildflower patches together well.

"Be mindful with kids, because Texas is known for bluebonnets and fire ants," Haschel said. "Once you"re there, scout out what"s under the flowers."


Rayli Lewis, 2, enjoys a bluebonnet patch in Carrollton. Rayli may not it is in a criminal, but experts say choose bluebonnets deserve to keep them native seeding correctly in future seasons.

Marcus suggests finding a (safe) roadside slope, wherein photographers can arrange the it s as beautiful as picture patchwork that blue and also green behind their topics without wading right into the patch.

"People are trying to find the perfect picture, the perfect angle, and they end up damaging what they shot to appreciate," Marcus said.

Our statewide obsession v these tiny blue wildflowers dates back over a century, Marcus said. The state legislature very first considered choose a state flower in the spring of 1901, spurring fierce floor debate.

Some lawmakers considered the cotton boll, harkening back to the state"s Southern, cotton plantation roots. A representative from Uvalde suggested the cactus for its hardiness and also beautiful flowers, earning the the nickname "Cactus Jack."

In the end, the Sandyland Bluebonnet of southern Texas — which blooms taller and also earlier 보다 its north Texas cousin — won the honor. It wasn"t until the 1970s that the legislature named all 5 or six varieties of Texas lupines as the state symbol.

Today, Marcus it s okay messages from almost everywhere the nation from Tex-pats hoping to thrive bluebonnets out-of-state. He"s also gotten emails indigenous military service members in Iraq and Afghanistan hoping to lug a small slice the Texas to the eastern Hemisphere.

"It"s a true love civilization have, Texans, for your bluebonnets," Marcus said. "Because we"re Texans, by gosh. And it"s our flower."


Charles Scudder, staff writer. Charlie Scudder is a general assignment reporter and has functioned on the features and news desks for 7 years. He's additionally an adjunct professor in ~ UNT's Mayborn school of Journalism. Elevated in Colleyville, that is a graduate of southern Methodist University and also Indiana University.




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