Prickly pear: What's the law?

Hello ppls,
I would like to start a cactus garden and wondered what the law says regarding taking prickly pear from the side of the road or wherever. I live in Texas. It's not that I begrudge paying for it - it's cheap enough. I bought an unpotted aloe for 99c on the way back from Mexico one time and it has opened out and grown into a stunning plant.
Anyway, I figured if I could legally take some, then I would. If not, I won't! I've searched the net and found virtualy nothing. Any help would be appreciated.
TIA -- Lynda
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Purple Linny spluttered almost incoherently...:

It is indeed illegal under state laws in Texas, and quite expensive. If You wanted to take it out of someone's yard it wouldn't be a problem (unless the owner of the land objects!). Take it from the wild and the fine is about $500.....
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Aha. Kind of what I figured. I knew there were wild flower laws...
Off to the shops I go. Thanks for the info.
btw, I'll be lurking around. Will be moving to a house with the garden of my dreams soon, after living in an apartment since May when I landed on these shores from England. I'm so excited... even bought a Texas Gardener! -- Lynda
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opined:

Where in Texas? We live in Round Rock.
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Pearland - about 15m south of Houston. Hubby tells me RR is near Austin? -- Lynda
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opined:

Yes, it's about a 15 minute drive to dead center of downtown Austin. Round Rock is Dell Inc. headquarters.
V
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So you must have a chance to drop into The Broken Spoke, to check out Alvin Crow! listen, where i live a wide range of Opuntias have naturalized, their pads fall off, get knocked off by people, cars, whatever. the taking of a propagation piece, for they do root easilly...why do you not call the local department of agriculture and ask? i have harvested all kinds of opuntias to send to folks, i just asked the person living in the vicinity of their growing, if i could take one or two pads. I have also rooted them from the supermarket! Ask first. for a while, and this may not be so now, all catcus were on some appendix one or two of the Endangered Species list. in truth, MANY of them are truly endangered, but i doubt if prickly pear is one of them.
in our deranged times, it is not the criminal who goes to jail, it is the harmless person taking a small piece of a plant, to no detriment to that plant.... be on the safe side.
hermine
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Woo Hoo Pearland :) I'm in Houston near Friendswood :) My cousin lives in Pearland
Shell
wrote:

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On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 03:58:24 GMT, Shell91 <.net> wrote:

Heydiddly-o neighbour - we're actually closer to Friendswood. We're on 518 close to Cullen that leads to the Beltway... we're about to move behind 518 into Brookside Village.
I was about to apologise for the thread hijack, then realised it was my thread - haha - that's a first for me! <ahem> -- Lynda
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Most likely its illegal in most if not all states to remove natural fauna without a permit. This includes non game animals birds reptiles etc, as well as vegetation.
Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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billy_bunter wrote:

Are you sure about that? I thought prickly pear was considered an invasive weed.
Best regards, Bob
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You could have a hundred acres of invasive weeds. It is still illegal to dig up anything from any land without permission.
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It's always illegal to take plants without permission. However, since this particular plant is everywhere in Texas, I don't think anyone would mind if you took some...way back in some field. Please do remember that this plant has billions of very sharp, very invasive to the skin and body, PRICKS! One time I didn't do it carefully and I had these cactus pricks in my bra, and everywhere on my body. I have no idea how it happened, but it did.
I just went out and bought mine. I forget the variety, but mine has a pink tinge to the pads and a nice blue as well.
V
On 14 Nov 2003 17:51:44 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@purplelinny.com (Purple Linny) opined:

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Hmm... sounds like an adventure. Depends on my conscience at the time ;-)

Ouch! The mind boggles. Yep, some heavy duty gloves and all over protection will be in order... even if I just buy one. I want to get some large cacti as centrepieces in my display and then concentrate on growing and nurturing the smaller ones on the outskirts.

Sounds purdy. Thanks for the advice. -- Lynda
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opined:

I removed a few pads a month ago to make more plants. I can send a pad to you. They are very easy to get going. Let me know. My email address is snipped-for-privacy@animaux.net and remove the zero at the end or it will bounce.
Victoria
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Oh wow! That would be fantastic - thank you so much. /runs off to send e-mail... :-) -- Lynda
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On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 13:42:13 GMT, Purple Linny LeCompte

I should have thought of that. i can send pads of about three kinds which grow either wild, or for the taking from the land owner. one is very like Burbank's Spineless. want some?
snipped-for-privacy@endangeredspecies.com
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On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 16:05:06 GMT, hermine stover

Me? I would love some! Oh my goodness - what a great bunch of people on here! Makes a nice change om usenet ;-)
I'll drop you a line so we can arrange something. Many thanks. -- Lynda.
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If you decide to collect from the wild, might I suggest that you only break off one pad from any one plant. They root extremely easily and grow quickly.
But before you decide to do this, there are some relatively spineless prickly pear cacti that have very sweet edible fruit which can be used for preserves and wine. I am told that one which I have just received will grow 10 feet tall in three years under optimal conditions in Bisbee, AZ. Your local nursery might be able to provide you with better stock than you can find in the wild population.
You must be excited to learn what grows in Texas. I just started exploring succulents and cacti as landscape plants: it is a difficult transition from my northeast roots. I now live in the Southern California mountains. Good luck.
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