It's Not Illegal In Texas To Pick Bluebonnets, and Your Whole Life Is A Lie

bluebonnets_flickr_mvx.jpg
MVX on Flickr
DO NOT PICK. Or maybe do?
Everyone in Texas, transplant or not, has been told that if you pick the bluebonnets that decorate the landscape across Texas in the spring, a state trooper will personally kick your ass, because you Don't Mess With Texas and its dainty blue flora. Maybe your mom told you this oft-repeated rule, or that asshole who used to bully you in second grade. No matter who it was, that person is a dirty liar.

The antique that is the Texas Department of Public Safety's website confirms that, contrary to popular belief, there is no state law that actually bans the picking of bluebonnets or other Texas wildflowers. As long as you're not actively trespassing on someone's property to pick bluebonnets, you should be good.

It's probably not a good idea, though, to head out to pick bushels of bluebonnets to prove your new-found trivia to your friends at the bar. A press release issued by the Texas Department of Transportation warns that "picking a few flowers may be okay, [but] individuals should not dig up clumps of flowers or drive their vehicle into a field of flowers." Duly noted.

A police officer may also give you a ticket if you decide to unsafely pick flowers on the highways. TxDOT says that drivers should signal before exiting the roadway to pick flowers, stay off the shoulders, and avoid crossing lanes on foot to get to the bluebonnets. They also recommend not interrupting rush hour traffic to Instagram a photo or Tweet about the wildflowers.

You also aren't allowed to destroy government property, either, so if the state planted the flowers, they're out. Usually there are signs that designate whether or not the wildflowers are protected, but it's probably best to just stay away from picking anything anywhere near state-owned property.

Maybe it's almost better, though, to continue the lie so that people don't end up killing themselves along I-35 trying to pick bluebonnets for their coffee table. TxDOT also warns wildflower enthusiasts that other dangers lurk behind the beauty of those bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes, specifically snakes and fire ants.

Either way, it's good to know that innocuously picking a bluebonnet to tuck behind the ear of that girl you've been trying to impress won't land you in the pokey.


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53 comments
holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

and don't pick Buffalos.

I hike national parks.

95% of Americans who visit national parks never get farther than 100 yards off a highway.  So I was gaining entrance to Yellowstone to do some severe backcountry trekking and lo and behold there was a screeching of tire, a door a flyin’ open and a pell-mell Rebel Yell to the adjacent field.  Cameras at the ready! A herd is a running to capture a Buffalo in the wild.

The Buffalo charge.

The venerable Bison is a Herculean beast.  Able to accelerate to 35 miles an hour in 30 feet and spin on a dime, then hook it’s aggregating aggressor, it is an impressive killer.  Buffalo don’t like humans.  Trust me.  It’s brutal.  Buffalo kill more human than bear.

If Blue Bonnets were Buffalos we'd have lesser, Lesser Americans.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

Tune in tomorrow: it's okay to pee on the Alamo!

The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley

I am going to pick bluebonnets and plant them in my alley easement so the city will quit bitching about me not mowing it.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

My mother visited from Kansas this past weekend.  She kept telling me I needed to get a shot of my 2 year old in the bluebonnets.  I've protested this practice for years as dumb and stereotypical, and on more occasions than not, dangerous.  It really isnt safe to park your giant Suburban on the shoulder of a major off ramp and unload a bunch of rugrats into the wild for your shitty family photo you are going to post to Facestagramittertrest.  Anyhow, I sent her a photoshop to suffice.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Ironically, that large bouquet of bluebonnets you retrieved from the side of the access road will make and especially attractive spray of color among all the other flowers at your funeral after being killed crossing the highway on the way back to your SMART car.

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

Takeaway from this article: it's not illegal to pick bluebonnets, but it may as well be, and probably should be.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@holmantx  

I have witnessed the hilariously disastrous results of bikers that have tried to casually motor past a small herd of elk ruminating in the middle of the highway in Glacier Nat. Park.

These creatures have all of those right-of-way signs for a very good reason.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@ChrisYu  pee on the alamo and get caught, you are likely to end up on the sex offender list these days

alanperdue
alanperdue

Find somewhere else than the side of the road to take bluebonnet pictures. It's not that hard really.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin

I've got a pretty good commute through the countryside and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of people that feel compelled to physically climb out of their cars to get photos among these flowers. It is the ONE thing that seems to inspire folks around here to actually leave their automobile for anything other than work, home, or food.  

pak152
pak152

@ScottsMerkin"It really isnt safe to park your giant Suburban on the shoulder of a major off ramp" true but you could head out into the country on roads less traveled

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

Such a downer on Earth day and Vladmir Lenin's birthday. And as for SMART cars - park 'em, and every other vehicle in Dallas to make up for the 35,000 gallons of fuel Dear Leader will burn, and the 375 tons of carbon dioxide he'll emit (and that's not counting the speechifying) to celebrate Gaia.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@ozonelarryb

Not to denigrate Eric for his traditionalist approach, but for the 20-odd years I lived in Texas, just about every publication had a variation on the "not illegal to pick blue bonnets" revalation.

I'd wager that the two guys who ever believed it was illegal died in the 70's, but their legend will live on forever.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

Do you commute by foot?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@pak152 @ScottsMerkin  this is true, but I drive mostly in the city, and the exit ramp from 360 North to DFW is not a smart place to partake in bluebonnetry 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Oh, boy . . .  even the bluebonnets will not be spared your interminable one-note protest song.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

D'oh. Sorry Amy. Earl, I think u mean bylined. Your way is a bit presumptive about her ummm....

LOOK-at-MeRuddSki
LOOK-at-MeRuddSki

@TheRuddSki Far be it from THE RUDDSKI to "denigrate" anyone (less than 25 times an hour). 


In fact, it was my Uncle who started the rumor in 1969 after he discovered Willie Nelson.   \


What were we talking about?  Oh Bluebonnets. 

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

@TheRuddSki  My wife just told our recent-Texas-immigrant friend that it was illegal last week.  We all believed it.  The legend continues...

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Why would you presume such a thing?

I never said or implied that I was superior or any different. Although I would never stop to roll around in bluebonnets. (Unless my MIL makes me, that is . . :-) 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

For some reason, in just presumed you weren't in your car.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Roads do wind through the countryside here in TX.

I could've sworn you said that you had once lived here. Surely you are aware of that fact.

leftocenter
leftocenter

@ScottsMerkin @bvckvs

Oh, that's a gorgeous spot for bluebonnetry!

And buckseykvassectomey (is that what your handle is an acronym for?) ...yes, I'm a Texan born and raised and though I didn't grow up in bluebonnet country.  I always believed it was illegal to pick them.

I'll be picking some...safely...today :)  There are plenty of non "run-over-me-now" spots to collect them..

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@LOOK

You're so condescendable

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

My mother used to say the same thing, but it was all a ruse, we did have things nice.

She just kept them hidden.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

that is quite the conundrum you've created I must say.

Are you suggesting I created Myrna?

Maybe I did, maybe in even created you

Nah, there are enough overblown puffballs as it is without my efforts.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@LOOK

Watch that BP, Amigo.

LOOK-at-MeRuddSki
LOOK-at-MeRuddSki

@TheRuddSki Any verbiage on this blog that is NOT spewed by you is considered interesting.  Your boorish condescending bullshit is somewhere between an dripping faucet and a impacted wisdom tooth. 


Now carry on. 

LOOK-at-MeRuddSki
LOOK-at-MeRuddSki

@TheRuddSki There are 35 billion of them....just like my bitchy post on every article.  


Where is Myrna as I need a chick to bash?

LOOK-at-MeRuddSki
LOOK-at-MeRuddSki

@TheRuddSki Have I mentioned recently about my sister who cured cancer while living in Nepal, with Mother Theresa or my Brother who invented rivers?  I haven't mentioned anything recently about my Dad who produces a little show called Saturday Night Live which I do some writing for when I'm not on the Professional Rodeo Circuit or dating Bristol Palin. 


Don't be fooled into thinking you can have a conversation about Bluebonnets without me lurking and trolling and looking for just the right comment to JUMP on with some lame ass snarky, bitchy, bashing comment because that is, in reality, all I have left in my life to offer society.  I am here to destroy any and all rational conversation.   I am clearly not passionate about a discussion but rather the opportunity to be the biggest wet blanket this blog has ever seen.


Now carry on.  I dare you.  For whatever you have to say, I can assure you in advance I feel differently and rightfully so which makes YOU a moron and me the Super Bitch of the Universe. 





TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

C'mon. unleash the socks of war is much more interesting than Bluebonnets that pop up every year constantly and predictably, followed by the 3,245th article about the legality of picking them. There are 35 billion of them of course you can pick them (Just don't feed the alligators )

What about Indian Paintbrush? Stork's Bill? Wooly Milkvetch? Where is the Diversity?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

 and stopped making it "all about me" when I made it "all about me".

that is quite the conundrum you've created I must say.

fits neatly with the rest of what you post, too.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

Well, at least Myrna and the Mini-Myrnas finally got the connection and stopped making it "all about me" when I made it "all about me". And to top it off, I hardly even got started bragging! Shame, really - I've got some really great stories.

I haven't even seen the simmering, simpering LOOKatME guy even. Now, the DO has had to reduce ad rates here.

But, in keeping with interminable tradition...

On April 12, The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House was still weighing requests from the Ukrainian government for other supplies such as "medical kits, uniforms, boots and military socks."

"You want to calibrate your chest-thumps," a senior military official told the Journal, explaining this step-by-step approach. "He does something else in Ukraine, we release the socks."

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Apparently so, by comparison.

Your Mr. Everything act is far more entertaining, IMHO.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

Your protestations of my presentation of interesting facts OTOH is really quite interesting.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Two? So hard to differentiate - the constant drone is so intensely boring, it's difficult to tell them apart, anymore.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

Irony and hypocrisy. I count two interminable memes, but if you like your complaint, the debate is over.

lebowski300
lebowski300

I see what you did there. We'll played Little Ruddy.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@cxdarkridex

OTOH, it's probably a good idea that Texas media downplays the hallucinogenic properties of the bluebonnet by not noting this fact at all.

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