Texas bluebonnets – Illegal to pick?

Texas Bluebonnets – Are they illegal to pick?

Texas highways are in bloom and nothing says spring to a Texan or a visitor to the Lone Star State than Texas Bluebonnets – the state flower. Bluebonnets are to Texas as shamrocks are to Ireland.

Texas bluebonnets, Texas Bluebonnets - Illegal to Pick? www.theeducationaltourist.com

Lots of people take an annual photo sitting in a sea of blue flowers.

But no one ever picks any. Why? Because…..it is illegal to pick Texas Bluebonnets. Well, we’ve always heard it was illegal. And, we’ve always said it is illegal. But……is it really?

Mother and daughter in Texas bluebonnet field, Texas Bluebonnets - Illegal to Pick? www.theeducationaltourist.com

No. Officially – NOT illegal to pick them.  There is no law against picking the state flower.

That, doesn’t mean it is a good idea to pick them!  They aren’t just pretty as they are busy improving the soil by adding the natural fertilizer, nitrogen. Nitrogen is in the air, but most plants can only get it from the soil. Some plants, such as the Texas Bluebonnet, can with the help of a special bacteria. These flowers take nitrogen out of the air and store it in lumps on their roots, called nodules.  When the plant dies, the nodules release the nitrogen into the soil so other plants can use it.  Bluebonnets are pretty and hard working, too!

roots of bluebonnet flower, photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Texas Bluebonnets - Illegal to Pick? www.theeducationaltourist.com

photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Texans love bluebonnets. Texas Aggies from Texas A&M love all things maroon so of course they developed the maroon Texas bluebonnet called the  Aggiebonnet.

maroon Texas bluebonnet, http://texassuperstar.com/plants/maroon/realmaroon.html

Shop here for Texas maroon blue bonnets here and grow some Aggiebonnets for your favorite Aggie!

Be sure to stop and take your photo with the bluebonnets if you visit Texas this spring. The very best viewing times are in April and May.

Happy Travels!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, Texas Bluebonnets, www.theeducationaltourist.com

 

 

 

 

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