In Herbaceous, herb collectors compete to grow and store the most valuable medley of herbs. Everyone starts with four containers, each of which allows a different grouping action:
- Group herbs of same type
- Group different types
- Group pairs
- Group any three types (same or different)
On your turn, you draw an herb, then decide to either keep it in your personal collection or put in into the communal pile. If kept, the next card goes to the communal pile; if placed in the communal pile, the next card goes in your personal collection.
At the start of your turn, you can decide to use a container. If so, you assemble cards from personal and communal spaces, group them, then turn them all over. You have then "collected" those and can't use the container again.
At the end of the game, collectors determine the best collection as a combination of value from their collection, matching herbs, and herb sets.