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

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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 may know, the Sandyland Bluebonnet (Lupinus subcarnosus) was designated by the Texas Legislature in 1901 as "The State Flower of Texas". This has probably led to the urban myth about it being illegal to pick bluebonnets.  In 1971, the Legislature designated all of Texas' species of bluebonnets as the state flower so that there are now five different bluebonnet species 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

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus subcarnosus

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