For many Idahoans, picking wildflowers is a time-honored spring tradition. 

Growing up, I vividly remember the excitement of picking spring flowers to bring home to Mom or my favorite teacher. The simple act of picking wildflowers made me feel as wild and free as the beautiful blooms in my disheveled bouquets.

It was an incredible way to grow up, and I had always wanted the same for my own kids. But the truth is that they'll never really know what that was like.

Did you know Idaho has classification of forbidden-to-pick wildflowers? 

It was only two years ago that I found out myself. My family and I had been on a hike at Mores Mountain, about 20 miles or so north of Boise, when a park ranger for the U.S. Forest Service asked us to stop picking the wildflowers the kids and I had been gathering.

Per the confused look on my face, it was obvious to the park ranger that I had never heard of Idaho's Wildflower Ethics or policies on protected native plants. Without writing me a ticket, which could've cost me as much as $1,000, he was kind and quick to inform me that it's actually illegal to pick 15 kinds of local wildflowers on public land.

It shall be unlawful for any person in this state to willfully and negligently cut, dig up, trim, pick, or remove, any plant, flower, shrub, bush, fruit or other vegetation growing upon the right of way of any public highway within this state. -Title 18, Idaho Legislature

The park ranger further explained that the law was created to prevent over-picking and unlicensed street flower vendors from profiting off of Idaho's endangered wildflowers.

Today, my kids love picking flowers. And while they may not feel as wild and as free as I once did, they love the experience just as much as we did. Even better, my kids aren't breaking the law by gifting me or their teachers an illegal bouquet of wildflowers.

Scroll for 15 wildflowers Idahoans are forbidden to pick. 

15 Wildflowers You're Forbidden to Pick in Idaho

Before you pull over to pick a bundle of beautiful flowers for your dining room table, think twice. It's actually illegal to gather more than a dozen kinds of wildflowers in Idaho.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Valenzuela

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Before you start digging, make sure you're planting the right tree in the right place! Check out our favorite picks for trees that thrive in Idaho.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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Scroll on for a list of 12 bugs & insects in Idaho you actually want in & around your home this spring & summer!

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Before you judge the filial cannibals in the gallery below, remember:

> they can't escape their homegrown hellions with a therapeutic trip to Target

> there are no babysitters in the wild

> they can't send them off to school five days a week

> and most, if not all of them, were just lonely, h*rny singles looking for a one-night stand who wound up as single parents

Cut 'em some slack, people 🙄

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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