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?


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
10 ratings

Wednesday - March 25, 2009

From: Milford, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Is it illegal to pick the state flower (Mountain laurel) in Connecticut?
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Is it illegal to pick the state flower (mountain laurel) in CT?


Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) is, indeed, the State Flower of Connecticut and certainly quite beautiful. I couldn't locate any specific Connecticut law that addressed picking the state flower, but I did find a law (Connecticut Chapter 451—Public Shade Trees and Tree Protection Examining Board) concerning the "Removing, pruning, injuring or defacing certain trees"  saying that if a person does this within the limits of a public way or grounds, they could be fined.  And, according to the newsletter, Pollution Prevention View, from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, "It is illegal to collect any plants from state-owned lands without a permit."  Now, whether picking a flower fits into those descriptions is a matter of interpretation, but I wouldn't think it would be a good idea to pick flowers or other parts of plants of any kind on public land in Connecticut or any other state.  So far as I was able to determine, it is not illegal to pick a flower of the mountain laurel on private land; but, if I were you, I would ask the owner's permission first.  In fact, you should ask permission to be on someone's private land in the first place.  Additionally, you should keep in mind that the mountain laurel is highly toxic and any parts of the plant may be fatal if eaten.

Kalmia latifolia

Kalmia latifolia



More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflowers for flood plain in Minnesota
December 05, 2008 - Hi- Our home sits on 2 acres with about 1 of the acres in a flood plain area. That 1 acre has water running through it when the snow melts off and it generally dries up in 2 days. It is currently plan...
view the full question and answer

How long do bluebonnets last?
April 21, 2009 - How long do bluebonnets last? When should I no longer expect to see the beautiful state flower along the side of the road? I want to know how long I have to take memorable pictures of my children. Tha...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shady Woodland in MA
June 09, 2013 - Hello, I am looking for natives to plant in full shade or part shade. My house is in the mountain woodland area of Mt. Washington, MA. I am looking for grasses, flowers and shrubs. Also I am looking f...
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas bluebonnets in North Carolina
March 11, 2008 - I live in North Carolina and love the Texas Bluebonnets. Can I create my own mix of soil to be able to grow them here? Soil is basically red clay and icky.
view the full question and answer

Soils for Central Texas wildflowers
November 04, 2007 - Our family is moving to 40 acres near Lexington, TX with deep soil. Briefly talking to personnel at the Wildflower Center during Goblins in the Garden, I found that not all flowers in the Central Texa...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center