It's Not Illegal In Texas To Pick Bluebonnets, and Your Whole Life Is A Lie
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.
MVX on Flickr DO NOT PICK. Or maybe do?
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.