Is it illegal to pick lily pad flowers in minnesota

In Minnesota, it is illegal to pick lily pad flowers without permission from the property owner. This is because lily pads are considered a protected species in Minnesota, and are therefore protected under state law.

Picking lily pad flowers without permission can result in fines and other penalties. Minnesota residents should always check with the local authorities before picking lily pad flowers from any property, public or private.

What is Lily Pads?

Lily pads are floating aquatic plants with large, flat, round leaves that grow on the surface of freshwater ponds and streams. These plants are part of the water lily family and typically have bright green leaves that can be up to 10 inches in diameter.

Lily pads provide a number of environmental benefits, including providing habitat for small animals, absorbing nutrients from the water, and helping to keep the water clean. In addition, they are a beautiful sight to behold, adding a splash of color to any body of water.

Minnesota Laws on Picking Flowers

The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is a beautiful place to explore and take in nature. But before you start picking the wildflowers, you should educate yourself on the Minnesota laws on picking flowers. In Minnesota, it is generally illegal to pick wildflowers, as they are considered part of the public domain.

  1. Private Property: Generally, you cannot pick flowers or plants from someone’s private property without their permission. Trespassing on private property or damaging someone’s plants can lead to criminal and/or civil consequences.
  2. Public Lands: Regulations vary by type of public land.
    • State Parks: In Minnesota, it’s prohibited to pick, damage, or remove any natural resources, including flowers and plants, from state parks unless otherwise specified.
    • Roadsides: Under Minnesota statutes, it’s illegal to pick certain wildflowers growing on public land or on a roadside, including the lady’s-slipper (the state flower). This law aims to protect native plants and prevent the depletion of roadside beauty.
    • Forests and Other Public Lands: Similar restrictions might apply to national forests, wildlife preserves, or other public lands. It’s always a good idea to check specific regulations related to the area you’re in.
  3. Endangered Species: The taking, possession, transport, or sale of endangered or threatened plant species, including certain wildflowers, is prohibited in Minnesota.
  4. For Commercial Purposes: If someone is picking flowers for sale or commercial use, there might be additional restrictions and required permits.
  5. Ethical Considerations: Beyond the legal aspects, there’s also an ethical component to consider. Over-picking can damage ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, and prevent others from enjoying the beauty of the flowers. If you’re picking wildflowers, always be mindful of the impact on the environment and future generations.

However, you can pick wildflowers from your own property, as long as they are not endangered or protected species. Additionally, you may pick flowers that are growing on the side of a road or highway, as long as you obtain the owner’s permission first.

Lastly, if you are looking to pick flowers for commercial use, you must obtain a special permit from the state of Minnesota. So, before you venture out into the Land of 10,000 Lakes to pick flowers, remember to know your Minnesota laws.

Penalties for Picking Lily Pads

In many jurisdictions, lily pads and other aquatic plants play a crucial role in maintaining the health and balance of aquatic ecosystems. Removing or damaging them can have unintended consequences for water quality, habitat, and overall ecosystem health. Consequently, many states, including Minnesota, have established regulations to protect these resources.

If you’re specifically asking about Minnesota, the state has regulations in place to protect native aquatic plants:

  1. General Restrictions: In Minnesota, it’s generally illegal to destroy or uproot any aquatic plants without a permit, as they serve as critical habitat for fish and other aquatic life.
  2. Permits: Permits are required for various activities that involve the removal or destruction of aquatic plants. There are some exemptions, but they are specific.
  3. Penalties: Violation of these regulations can lead to penalties. The severity of the penalty may vary depending on the extent of the damage, whether the act was intentional, and if the individual has any prior violations. Penalties can range from fines to more serious consequences, especially if the removal is significant or repeated.
  4. Endangered or Threatened Species: If the lily pads or any associated aquatic plants are classified as endangered or threatened, the penalties could be even more severe.
  5. Local Ordinances: In addition to state laws, local municipalities might have their own rules and penalties related to aquatic plants. Always check local regulations when considering activities that might impact natural resources.

In case, you or someone you know is considering removing lily pads or any other aquatic plants, it’s essential to check with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or a similar local agency first to understand the rules and any necessary permitting procedures. However, one must know, preserving natural habitats is crucial for the health of ecosystems and the broader environment.

Sunfire Waterlily , Large Hardy Water Lily , A Pond Megastore Top pick!
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Alternatives to Picking Lily Pads

Picking lily pads is often seen as a relaxing and enjoyable pastime, but there are plenty of other activities that can provide a similar sense of peace and pleasure.

From bird watching to kayaking, nature has plenty of activities to explore and enjoy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try your hand at fishing or hiking. Or if you’re looking for something more leisurely, you can take a leisurely stroll in the park and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

There’s no shortage of alternatives to picking lily pads, and each one can be just as enjoyable. So why not explore the great outdoors and find a new hobby that will bring you peace and pleasure?

Common Misconceptions About Picking Lily Pads

Picking lily pads from a pond or lake can be a tricky task if you don’t have the right knowledge or tools. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions surrounding this activity.

One of the most commonly believed myths is that you can only pick lily pads in the summer. This is untrue—lily pads can be picked year-round as long as the water is not frozen.

Additionally, some people think that you need to use a net to pick lily pads. This is also untrue—with the right technique, you can pick lily pads using nothing but your hands.

Finally, some believe that you need to use a boat to pick lily pads. This is false as well—you can pick lily pads from shore with the right technique. Knowing the truth about lily pad picking will help you enjoy this activity safely and successfully.

FAQs About the Is It Illegal to Pick Lily Pad Flowers in Minnesota

Is it legal to pick lily pad flowers in Minnesota?

Answer: No, it is illegal to pick any wildflowers in Minnesota, including lily pad flowers. The state of Minnesota has a law prohibiting the removal of any wildflowers from public lands.

Are there any exceptions to the law regarding picking lily pad flowers in Minnesota?

Answer: Yes, there are some exceptions to the law. Pickers are allowed to collect flowers from public lands for educational purposes or for the purposes of cultivating a garden. Additionally, some Native American tribes may be granted permission to pick lily pad flowers for ceremonial purposes.

What are the consequences for picking lily pad flowers in Minnesota?

Answer: If a person is caught picking lily pad flowers in Minnesota, they may face a fine of up to $500, or even a jail sentence. Additionally, the flowers can not be sold or transported across state lines.


In Minnesota, it is not illegal to pick lily pad flowers. However, it is important to do so responsibly and not take more than necessary. Additionally, it is important to be mindful of the impact of removing lily pads from the environment, as they are an important part of the local ecosystem.


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