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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.

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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.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - December 01, 2008

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Is it illegal in Texas to pick bluebonnets? No.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Is it illegal in Texas to pick a bluebonnet?

ANSWER:

As you know, the bluebonnet has been designated by the Texas Legislature in 1901 as "The State Flower of Texas" Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet). This has probably led to the urban myth about it being illegal to pick bluebonnets.  In 1971, the Legislature designated four additional species of bluebonnets as the state flower so that there are now five different bluebonnets that are the state flower.

The Texas Department of Public Safety assures us that it is not illegal to pick bluebonnets, and in this link, makes some common-sense suggestions about not trespassing on private property to pick them, and using caution when stopping along side public roadways to see them.

Mr. Smarty Plants would prefer that you didn't pick the bluebonnet flowers, but leave them for others to admire. This also allows the plants to set seed for next year's crop of beautiful flowers. Another way of saying this would be: "Don't mess with Texas Bluebonnets!"

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Sandyland bluebonnet
Lupinus subcarnosus

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