When I was a child we visited Ontario, where I was warned it was illegal to pick trilliums, the provincial flower, if you came across any growing wild. Turns out that wasn’t true – the flower does not have protected status.
The Black Forest seems to be one big nature park, and I have yet to see any signs saying you can’t pick the flowers. Sometimes in Germany though, the assumption is that everyone already knows the rules, so there is no need to post them.
The various tourist maps I have seen make no mention of flower picking. My assumption was that if it grows wild then you can pick it if you so desire. Within reason of course – you can’t harvest the forest for a cut flower business; that wouldn’t be fair.
A week or so ago my wife brought home a flower from one of our evening walks. I’m completely uneducated in matters floral, but I would have said it was a bluebell, or maybe a hollyhock. It was one of hundreds growing along the trail we took that evening.
Returning home, we stopped to talk with one of our neighbours. She saw the flower and cautioned us. It didn’t matter to her, she said, but there are some types of flowers you aren’t supposed to pick. She thought the one we had might be one of those. She didn’t want us to run afoul of any of the other neighbours. (Germans apparently like to mind other people’s business. I won’t give examples here, but they are legion.)
My wife went online and checked. As far as she could determine, the flower she had chosen was on the pickable list. Which was a relief – we could go to sleep that night without having to worry about being woken up when the Flower Police raided our apartment.
All of which is to say that when we walked the trails above St. Ulrich we picked no flowers. It seemed somehow safer that way. I did take a few pictures though, so I’ll share those with you today.
And no, I have no idea what any of them are. If necessary I can refer to them by size and colour. Though if you know the proper names, please leave a comment. I always like to learn new things.