Is It Illegal to Pick Bluebonnets in Texas?

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Is It Illegal to Pick Bluebonnets in

The legality of picking bluebonnets, which are the state flower of Texas and a well-loved symbol of the state, has been a topic of debate and misconception. Many believe that it is strictly illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas, while the truth is more nuanced.

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State Protection of Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets, particularly the species Lupinus texensis, are protected under Texan law to an extent. While there is no specific law that states picking bluebonnets is illegal, activities that damage or destroy the flowers may fall under broader statutes related to public property and the protection of natural resources.

Texas Penal Code

Under the Texas Penal Code, it may be considered illegal to damage, destroy, or remove any public property, which includes wildflowers on state land. Therefore, if bluebonnets are growing in a state park or on other state-maintained land, picking them could be construed as a violation.

Trespassing Concerns

Moreover, picking bluebonnets on private property without permission from the landowner can be considered trespassing, which is a punishable offense. Many bluebonnet fields are located on private lands, and visitors should be mindful of property rights.

Bluebonnet Endangerment Myths

While there is a common belief that bluebonnets are endangered and thus picking them is illegal, this is not the case. Bluebonnets are not listed as an endangered species. However, because they are so beloved, many people discourage picking them to ensure that they continue to grow and bloom each year for everyone to enjoy.

Exceptions and Conservation Efforts

In some areas, picking a small number of bluebonnets for personal use may be allowed, but large-scale harvesting and commercial use could require a permit or be restricted. Conservation efforts are in place to preserve wildflower populations, and these may include educational campaigns about the benefits of not picking bluebonnets and other wildflowers.


While it’s not expressly illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas, there are a number of considerations that could make the act unlawful, such as the location of the flowers and the manner in which they are picked. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to leave wildflowers undisturbed to maintain the natural beauty of the area and to respect state efforts to conserve these iconic symbols.


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