Ask the Editor: Can I Pick Bluebonnets in the Big Bend?

Ask the Editor: Can I Pick Bluebonnets in the Big Bend?


Elbert Twiford of St. Paul, Minnesota sent me the following question:

Andrew,
Love the site. Best info on the Big Bend area I have seen bar none.

On trip to the Big Bend last year the bluebonnets were in bloom. They were absolutely glorious and covered the side of the road near Study Butte.

I got out and took a couple of pictures. They literally covered the ground. I stooped to pick a couple and my wife descends upon me like a demon of Hades. “What are you doing?! It’s illegal to pick the state flower here in Texas.”

A long time ago I made an internal vow to never contradict my wife (the results were too disastrous to mention). However, I feel she is wrong on this issue.

I want to know if I can pick these flowers in the upcoming season. Who is right? Me or my charming wife? Help a retired gentleman find the truth.

Thank you (in advance) for your thoroughly researched answer,
Elbert Twiford

Elbert, your wife is mostly incorrect. It is a common urban legend that picking wild bluebonnets is illegal in Texas.

Don’t trespass when you do it. Don’t damage land by leaving ruts or digging up the flowers. If its a state wildflower area, it’s considered a garden and flower picking is verboten (these areas have clear signage). Otherwise, pick to your heart’s contentment.

That’s the legal advice… my personal advice is to not bring this up to the charming Mrs. Twiford unless you are willing to face the repurcussions. No one likes a know-it-all!

[Send in your questions on the Big Bend to andrewsuber@hotmail.com, andrew suber [at] hotmail [dot] com.]

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