Following on from The Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 it is now illegal to pick wild flowers in Great Britain. There are fines for doing so of up to £5000. Although the Author do think that someone ought to tell Highways and Byways that mowing verges is akin to picking flowers on a VAST and totally indiscriminate scale, and then discarding them as useless. They mow down rare orchids and many other rare or endangered wild flowers along with the grass.
Also, if it is illegal to pick flowers, then how do researchers find out if a flowers stem is hollow or not. And for re-identification purposes, after they have told us that such-and-such a flower is identifiable only by observing whether its stem is hollow or oozes a milky sap that turns yellow on exposure to air, how then are we supposed to confirm our identification without picking or cutting it? Are we supposed to use an X-ray machine in-situ, or perhaps an ultrasonic scanner? Did they who originally ascertained the stems integrity do so? Hmmm. I thought not!
This is not to condone picking of wild flowers, but you do have to use reasonable sense. If a flower is abundant in the extreme, no one is going to miss just one flower, after all, if it is on a road verge it could all get mown flat by the Council next week!