Reminder: Wildflowers along public roadways are protected by law
From March to November, Missouri roadsides are alive with a colorful array of wildflowers, their colors, shapes, sizes and arrangements as diverse as the people of this great state. Roadside wildflowers provide enjoyment for millions of people each year whether they are photographers, naturalists or just people out for a weekend drive through the countryside.
But in addition to making the roadsides more colorful, wildflowers are very important ecologically. Their roots help hold the soil and prevent erosion while the flowers, stems, seeds and leaves are an important food source for a variety of animals, from insects to birds to mammals.
Wildflowers are a wonderful resource in this state, and to protect that resource we have state statutes pertaining to the removal of plants from state and county highway and roadway right-of-ways. In general, these statutes make it illegal to “dig or remove any plants or plant parts” from those right-of-ways. However, they do allow “the collection of seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, edible wild greens or flowering parts of plants” for personal use or “for the purpose of scientific research or education,” but those “plants or plant parts” may “not be offered for sale.”
As Missouri Conservation Agents, a large part of our job is protecting resources such as these to help ensure that they will be around for the next generation to enjoy. If you see someone digging roadside wildflowers or committing any other resource violations, please call Conservation Agent Tom Leeker at 989-1693 or Conservation Agent Jerry Kiger at 989-1690.