En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

From: Biloxi, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Federal database on use of wildflowers
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Recently read about wedding planned to reduce typical costs AND "go green." One action the bridal party took was to decorate with wildflowers. I was appalled. So, my question, because apparently..my search so far has revealed..each state may have different laws regarding picking wildflowers. QUESTION: Can you direct me to any national database that "summarizes" the basic regulations BY STATE regarding the harvesting of native wildflowers? (If not, wow!..wouldn't that be a super project for some industrious grad student in botany, biology, ag econ, conservation, etc., etc., etc.??

ANSWER:

Simple answer: No.

Bridal magazines and home decorating publications have to come up with something new to write about constantly. Going green is currently very popular, and decorating with wildflowers, as opposed to non-native flowers that come from greenhouses, is an attractive way to do it. One previous answer we want to refer you to was from a couple who were planning their wedding on land belonging to their families, and, a year and a half in advance, were clearing and preparing to plant wildflowers, as well as planning the date around when those flowers would be in their best bloom. We tried to address the general question of picking wildflowers in this previous answer on wildflowers in Pennsylvania.

Our basic message is that wild plants left where they were growing will continue to be seen and enjoyed by others, will remain to drop seeds, and then reproduce for the future. As long as you are not on private property without permission or in a protected area, certainly it's okay to pick a few wildflowers, but don't pick them all, or destroy them "just for fun." Most of the large fields of wildflowers are on private property, and have remained because the owners have declined to destroy the flowers by mowing or permitting grazing until the flowers have had the opportunity to seed. And since many people planning weddings or otherwise interested in wildflowers probably live in urban areas where large fields of wildflowers are not available, this doesn't seem to us too compelling a problem.

One final point-even if there were laws about picking wildflowers, who would enforce them? The Wildflower Police are not always around with radar and binoculars. No matter what laws there are, there will always be people who abuse Nature in various ways. We can only try to educate people on the value of native plants, and the necessity to preserve and propagate them.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Will recent freezes delay wildflowers from Dripping Springs TX
February 15, 2011 - What effect will the recent freezing temperatures have on the Texas Hill Country Wildflowers? Will it delay blooming? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

2012 wildflower forecast from Friendswood TX
September 29, 2011 - What is your current view of the 2012 Wildflower Forecast? What weeks might be best for someone traveling from Colorado to see our flowers? We are concerned about what the drought will do to the 20...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers and plants for landscaping in March in Austin
February 18, 2004 - What are the best flowers and plants to landscape with in the Austin area in March?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower gardening for Citrus Co., Florida
March 07, 2008 - I live in Citrus County Florida, on the north central, west side of the state. I hope to start a wildflower meadow in my natural back yard. Can you recommend good wildflowers to grow, and where to g...
view the full question and answer

Growing bluebonnets from seed in Maitland FL
May 17, 2011 - Can I grow bluebonnets from seed in Maitland? The soil is quite sandy, and I do have sunny, dry places to grow them. Are there any special requirements necessary away from their native habitat?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center