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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12 Responses

  1. Whew! That’s a relief! We take a picture in the bluebonnets every year and inevitably one of the grandkids picks them. LOL!

  2. onlybyland says:

    These are very similar to the Bluebells we get here in Yorkshire, I think they are 2 different flowers though. They are both beautiful flowers and I can understand why people want to pick them. I don’t have to feel guilty if I pick one in Texas if it is not illegal!

  3. Ivy says:

    These bluebonnets are so pretty! The maroon colored ones are even prettier. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in Vancouver before, probably due to the climate. Not sure why anyone would want to pick them though, not a big fan when people remove plants or animals from their natural habitat. Perhaps the state should make it illegal haha

  4. Clare says:

    These look very like the bluebells we have in the UK. In the UK they are protected and you aren’t allowed to pick them either. They do look stunning to see when they are in bloom and you are walking through a forest with them in.

  5. The Bluebonnets looks beautiful and it’s interesting how they’ve developed a maroon coloured one too. Good to know that it’s not illegal to pick them, but as you rightly said, legal or illegal, never a good idea to pick flowers in general. One of the reasons why they are so special is probably because they are allowed to grow on their own and again replenish the soil. Thanks for all the info.

  6. ravenoustravellers says:

    I’ve never been to Texas but these beautiful flowers look very similar to what grows in the UK. I don’t know why anyone would want to pick them, it would spoil the scenery and be such a shame. I’d never heard of the Aggiebonnet – what an unusual name! Interesting read thanks for sharing!

  7. Bhushavali says:

    I didn’t know about Blue Bonnet and just did a quick google search on it and on the first page I came across, the Blue Bonnet Rattle Snake only to figure out that’s its a fake story!!! Whoa!!! That said, the flowers looks incredibly beautiful. The entire landscape filled with these blue beauties looks splendid!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      That is a scary photo, isn’t it? I should address that in the post. Thanks for mentioning it. There are surely others who have found that creepy photo as well!! Thanks for letting me know.

  8. They’re beautiful! They kind of remind me of a flower we have here in the UK (not sure what it’s called, though), but not quite. I do understand why people want to pick them, but I always think it’s a bit pointless – I’d much rather admire them while I’m there, than take them home with me.

  9. Those flowers look so pretty indeed. I guess it’s natural instinct to want to pick them. But like you said, you need to refrain from doing so. You got to let nature as it is and not try to destroy it!

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