Herbaceous Rules



1-4 Players

20 minutes

ages 8 +


Everyone has a green thumb when playing Herbaceous. Relax while enjoying this beautiful and elegant game of picking and potting herbs. Pot the best collection of herbs in your containers, but don't wait too long or your friend might grab them first.


Players try to score the most victory points by collecting and potting various herbs from the Community Garden and their Private Garden.


Herb cards -

63 Herb Cards(7 different x9)

9 Special Herb Cards(3 different x3)

Container Cards

16 Container Cards

4 different Containers in 4 player colors

1 Bun Reward Card

4 Quick Reference Cards


1. Each player receives 4 Container Cards, the back of the card is the player's color.
2. Shuffle the Herb Cards and Special Herb Cards (72 cards together into a deck.
3. Without looking at them, remove cards from the game depending on the number of players:
• 4 players - 0 cards
• 3 players - 12 cards
• 2 players - 24 cards
4. Place deck face-down as a Draw pile.
5. Designate an area for cards in the center for the Community Garden (al and an area in front of each player as their Private Garden (b).
6. Place the Bun Reward Card to the side of the playing area within reach of all players.


The player who most recently cooked or planted herbs is the starting player and takes the first turn. Players take turns clockwise until the game end conditions are met [see pg. 61, and perform the following steps in this order:

STEP 1: POT HERBS !optional!
As an optional action, at the start of a turn a player may decide to pot herbs. To do so, a player:

• Chooses 1 of their 4 Container Cards to use.
• Collects a set of Herb Cards specified by the chosen Container Card and then tucks them under the Container.
• Herbs may be taken from the Community Garden and/or a player's Private Garden.
• Each Container Card may only be used once per game.
• Only one Container may be used in a turn.

Special Herbs may ONLY be potted in the Glass Jar Container. 


There are 3 Lavender in the Community Garden and 3 Lavender in the player's Private Garden

At the start of the player's turn, they decide to pot the 6 total Lavender into their Large Pot, which requires "Identical Herbs.· 

Flip the stack and tuck them under the Container with its right edge aligned with the number of cards


There are 4 different containers, each of which MUST follow its own requirements when potting:

LARGE POT [Identical Herbs)
For this container, collect 1 to 7 Herb Cards of the same type. For example, 6 Lavender.

WOODEN PLANTER !Different Herbs)
For this container, collect from 1 to 7 different Herb Cards. For example, 1 Bay, 1 Saffron, 1 Rosemary, 1 Dill, and 1 Tarragon.

SMALL POTS [Pairs of Identical Herbs)
For this container, collect from 1 to 6 pairs. Each pair must be different from the others. For example, 2 Sage, 2 Dill, and 2 Bay.

GLASS JAR [Regular and / or Special Herbs)
Any 3 Herb Cards can be potted into this container. They can be the same or different. This container may include both Special and regular Herbs.


On the first turn of the first player, Step 1: Pot Herbs is not available because there are no cards played yet to pot.


The gardens begin to grow as players plant [see Step 2, next page). Be mindful of what Herbs your opponents have in their Private Gardens and what is in the Community Garden.


If a player pots each value of Special Herb 11, 2, and 31 into the Glass Jar, that player immediately earns the Bun Reward Card, which is tucked under the Glass Jar container. It provides bonus points at the end of the game. Only one player can be awarded the Bun in a game.

STEP 2: PLANT !mandatoryl
After Step 1, which is optional, a player must perform Step 2 if there are still cards in the deck. In this step, the player plants herbs into the Private Garden or Community Garden by doing the following:

1. Draw the top card from the deck and immediately decide where to place it:
• Into the Private Garden in front of the player OR
• Into the Community Garden in the center
2. Then draw a second card and place it into
the location not chosen by the first card. In other words, if the first card was placed in the Community Garden, the second must be placed in the player's Private Garden [and vice versal

Even if a player has used all of their Containers, they still participate in the Plant step on their turn.


After the deck is exhausted, players keep taking turns collecting Herbs. Once a player cannot pot any more herbs, that player stops. Continue until everyone has either used all of their container cards or until it is not possible for anyone to pot anything.


• Each Container Card lists at its bottom how many points are earned for the number of cards collected.
• For the Glass Jar Container, each Special Herb scores an additional bonus of the amount shown on the card. Also, earning the Bun Reward Card adds 5 points.
• Players score 1 point for each unpolled Herb still in their Private garden.

The player with the most points wins. In the event of a tie, the player whose Glass Jar container has a higher total wins the tie. If there is still a tie, those players all win and should break bread together. 


Game Production: Eduardo Baral Game Design: Steve Finn Illustration: Beth Sobel
Graphic Design: Benjamin Shulman


Copyright© Pencil First Games, LLC 2017