Texas Living

A Texas-size Myth: Is it Illegal to Pick the Bluebonnets?

By Eric Butterman 3.4.13

One of the Texas-size myths that circulates every spring is just as predictable as the spray of bluebonnets along the highways – pick just one or two, and you could get a hefty ticket. (Not true, although it does make for a great tall tale.)

So if you can pick bluebonnets to your heart’s content, there isn’t anything to worry about, right? Wrong. Though picking what’s been our state flower since 1901 is as legal as enjoying an Austin sunset, what people do to snatch them can be a ticket waiting to happen.

First, don’t park illegally just because you don’t see another way to get to your blue beauties. You’re creating a hazard by slowing traffic down to a crawl and you’re really ticking off that guy in the other lane—and there isn’t anything pretty about that.

Second, watch where you’re doing the picking. It might just be private property.

Third, why deal with any of this? Grow your own! Lady Bird Johnson didn’t spread these flowers and help it remain the state bloom just to have it one day be in lone parts of the Lone Star. Grow your own wildflowers or bluebonnets and then everyone can come park illegally near your house!
FYI: If you can’t get enough of them, the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival is going on from April 1-30. The event also promises arts and crafts, along with children’s activities.