|Herbalism (Primary Profession)
|Ingredients • Quests • Recipes(AJEAMG) • Trainers
Welcome to the wonderful world of competitive flower picking! Before you begin, know that herbalism is not just a walk in the park; but the payoffs can be great! Herbalism is practically a must for alchemists; almost all of your potions will take herbs and vials to create. Also, herbalism, as a gathering skill, is great for making some quick green (pun intended). Your biggest form of income will come with high-level herbs. There are early opportunities as well!
Back to nature
Firs thing is first: you need to train to pick flowers. Most secondary towns (the ones you come to after your starting area) have trainers, as do main cities. You can find a list of trainers here here
Every 75 levels you will need to go back to a trainer to upgrade your skills to the next cap. You can get trained to the next cap up to 25 skill levels before the cap. Unlike crafting professions, herbalism does not require you to have a certain character level to be trained; but you are limited to the herbs in your current zone. Try hunting rarer herbs in higher level zones and you could be in trouble with high-level and dangerous monsters!
To find herbs, use the "Find Herb" ability. Once this is activated (and you must reactivate after you die), herbs will appear on your minimap as yellow dots (above ground) or grey dots (below ground). The vast majority of herbs will be yellow dots.
To pick an herb, you need only two things: to be close enough to it, and to have the right herbalism skill level. As you pick more herbs, your skill level will increase; orange-labeled herbs will always give you a skill-up, while grey ones will never give you one. Unlike mining and skinning, you don't need any extra items to harvest herbs; no scythes or sickles or anything.
Peacebloom: Found in every newbie area, Peacebloom is often found out in the open, not especially near any trees. It can usually be near a couple of enemies, however, so you might need to fight them off before fighting them. This will be in zones until you reach level 20 and above.
Silverleaf: Silverleaf is also in every newbie area. Unlike Peacebloom, it is more commonly found under trees and near bushes.
Earthroot: Earthroot is found in newbie areas as well. It can be found on rocky oucroppings: mountain sides, hills, or any other rocky area. However, it is usually not found in abundance around mines, as might be expected.
Mageroyal: This herb is rarer to find. It seems to be out in the open as well, somewhat like peacebloom; however, it also thrives in sands (such as along the coast of Westfall... usually guarded by angry Murlocs).
Briarthorn: Found like silverleaf, along the sides of other objects (usually trees). Hunt along trees and tree stumps to find it.
Swiftthistle: Useful especially for rogues for Thistle Tea and PvPers for Swiftness Potions, Swiftthistle is a highly sought low-level herb. Since it is found with Mageroyal and Briarthorn, if you are hunting it, hunt those herbs!
Stranglekelp: Found along the coasts of the world, Stranglekelp has been washing ashore more and more often (and in newer areas) since patch 1.8 or so. It usually is not far off the coastline, but it is underwater, so expect to get your feet wet if you're hunting this herb.
Bruiseweed: An herb found where the earth has been bruised: either at rocky outcroppings or near buildings. Look for rocky areas (but close to the ground) or signs of settlements to get this herb.
Wild Steelbloom: Horribly annoying to get to (and especially to find in large quantities), Wild Steelbloom likes to grow on the top of mountains. I hope you're good at climbing! Finding a lot of this herb will leave you high-spirited and light-headed; or that might be the lack of oxygen at those high altitudes! However, an easier area (at least, not so high up!) is Thousand Needles; however, it is hard to pick a location to look, as everything is rocky!
Grave Moss: Feeling morbid? Grave Moss grows, of all places, in graveyards and crypts. Good places to find them: Ironbeard's Tomb in the Wetlands (one spawns above ground, and one under), Raven Hill Cemetery in Duskwood (there are a few distinct locations it spawns), and the graveyard in Scarlet Monastery. Have fun finding this; it isn't used it much, but when you need it (for Shadow Oil, for example), you need a LOT of it. ALso found in the Kodo graveyard (thanks Capitolg)
Kingsblood: This herb also grows out in the open, like Peacebloom. I find it far away from roads, though; if there is civilization around, this herb makes itself scarse. However, it is VERY useful to find: this herb is used to gain favor with the Thorium Brotherhood from Neutral to Friendly, which any self-respecting crafter will make sure to do to get EPIC patterns. Therefore, it fetches a price high above that of normal herbs around this level. Note: the price for Kingsblood has fallen since patch 1.7 or 1.8, when other options were added to gain TB reputation, but it is still quite high. It is also an ingreditant in Herbalist's Glvoes (plus 5 herbalism skill) and the herbalism enchant (plus 2 skill).
Liferoot: Liferoot loves moist ground, espcially swamps, marshes, and along rivers and streams. Good places to find this herb include the Wetlands (along the wet fens) and Hillsbrad (along the river through the middle of the zone).
Fadeleaf: Tough to see because it is so small, Fadeleaf is nonetheless incredibly useful and fetches a good price. It is used for Rogue's blinding powder, for becoming slightly invisible (and detecting invidibility). Good places to look? Under trees, like Silverleaf. I have personally seem a good amount scattered throughout the Hinterlands, the Badlands, and the Highlands. Your mileage may vary; I never found a lot of it in one location.
Goldthorn: With a wide variety of uses, Goldthorn is a bit more expensive than other herbs its level; you'll start to see increases in the price of herbs around this level. It can be found like Earthroot in mid-level (30-40) zones, on rocky outcrops. Stranglethorn Vale, the Hinterlands, the Arathi Highlands, and the outskirts of the Swamp of Sorrows all have this herb.
Khadgar's Whisker: I'm not sure if this is under trees or not, but I believe it is. I remember seeing a bit in various places; the troll village in Arathi, over different places in STV, in the Badlands, and in the Hinterlands. Fledarmus added in that a great place for this is in Dustwallow Marsh, saying marshy areas are full of it.
Wintersbite: For all your frosty needs, here is Wintersbite! This herb grows in only one zone: Alterac Mountains. Look for it in the snowy area of the Alterac mountains. It is also in Alterac Valley; but you should be taking it to the other faction, not picking flowers ^_^;. The herb will be in the snow only, so if you go too far and find yourself in the rocky part of the mountain rnage, turn around and head back.
Firebloom: The opposite of Wintersbite, Firebloom grows all around in HOT areas. It can be found out in the open in zones like the Blasted Lands, the Badlands, Searing Gorge, and Tanaris.
Purple Lotus: Purple Lotus can be found in a variety of zones, from as low as Ashenvale to as high as Azshara and Dire Maul (DM doesn't really count :-P). The universal trait: it grows near ancient ruins. If something looks like it was once Elven or Troll but has fallen into disrepair, odds are a Purple Lotus is growing nearby. This is a component in the Philosopher's Stone, needed to transmute.
Wildvine: Used more often in crafting than in alchemy, Wildvine is a rare pick that comes along with Purple Lotus (like Swiftthistle comes with Mageroyal/Briarthorn). It is also dropped off many trolls and plant elementals.
Arthas' Tears: For such a low level to pick this herb, it sure is in difficult places to reach! Arthas, former prince of Lordaeron turned villaneous Lich King, has left behind his tears upon the blighted lands on the Plaguelands and Felwood. This herb doesn't have much use, but that's where it is if you need it (a notable exception in use: the Paladin's epic mount quest).
Sungrass: One ofthe most in-demand herbs, and it becomes prevalent in recipes right when it is most difficult to collect. This herb should really only be chased down when you are post 40; with a mount, you can run into an area, grab the spawn, and run like hell before the monsters bite you. After its usefulness has faded and you gain enough levels to fight off the enemies often uarding it, Sungrass is more of a Sunweed; it is in almost every high-level zone, out in the open. For the adventurous types who wnat to hunt it at lower levels, you can find some spawns in the Blasted Lands, Azshara, Feralas, and the Hinterlands.
Blindweed: Go to Swamp of Sorrows and this herb lives up to its name: it is a weed, found all over the zone. Actually, a really easy way to level up to 300 herbalism is to just run around SoS picking it, as there are so many spawns. It only grows in Swamp of Sorrows and Un'goro, though, so it is semi-rare; but an hour in this zone and you'll get at least 50.
Ghost Mushroom: An amazing herb, and maddeningly rare to find, Ghost Mushrooms are highly sought after and often fetch large prices (compared to other herbs) for just a single one. Although Allakhazma says they can be found in the Arathi Highlands, the ONLY place outside of instances I have found these has been underground in Skulk Rock in the Hinterlands. Note: you will always only harvest a single mushroom from the herb node. These babies are also found in Maraudon and Dire Maul. You can also find them rarely off the Trashers (the planty guys) in Un'goro Crater.
Gromsblood: As Arthas has his tears, so Grom has his blood; this herb is based off of the Orc, Grom Hellscream, whose blood was tainted by demons. Therefore, Gromsblood grows in demonic areas, and usually high-level ones. Luckily, one relatively low-level area is Mannoroc Coven in southern Desolace; this area has level 40 (max) enemies and one or two spawns of this plant. Other good locations, although higher up, include Felwood and the Blasted Lands. I believe Gromsblood grows on rocky areas, but it might just be that it's the only place I have encountered them.
Golden Sansam: With an icon that remidns me of small sardines, Golden Sansam is an herb that truly marks the beginning of "hgih-level herbs) in my mind. It is a tiny plant often found out in the open; it is very hard to spot, and blends in well with the ground. The lowest level spot I have found this in in the eastern side of the Hinterlands, and Feralas. It is common in zones like Un'goro Crater, Felwood, and the Eastern Plaguelands.
Dreamfoil: Once upon a time, I thought this herb next to useless, on the same level as Arthas' Tears. Boy, was I wrong. Dreamfoil finds its use in multiple flask recipes, EVERY greater elemental protection potion, and a variety of other potions that increase magic damage and pool. A great herb, it is found in high-level zones like the Plaguelands, Silithus, Felwood, and Azshara.
Mountain Silversage: My favorite herb, personally, it fetches a very nice price at the AH, and is rare enough that few people can find much of it (but I know some good spawns :-D). Mountain Silversage is used for multiple flask recipes, for Major Healing Potions, and Elixir of Mongoose. Amazing, ain't it? My best spot for it: Un'goro Crater. Like Wild Steelbloom, it grows in high, rocky areas; circle the outer edge of the crater looking on your minimap for the yellow dots to appear. It takes a while, as spawns are spread out, but you can find a lot like this. Another good spot is in Felwood; around the green oozy lake bridge, there is a rocky part north of it (near where the Warlock quest guy is). Occassionally there is a spawn there. There's also spawns further north, where the satyrs that drop Felcloth are found.
Plaguebloom: Another good herb, used in normal potions, but the best of the normal potions, Plaguebloom is found in plagued areas: The Plaguelands and Felwood. It is out in the open; in the plaguelands, you can usually find spawns at the farms, surroudned by undead. In Felwood, it can sometimes be found almost right off the road, surrounded by diseased wolves and bears. Fun!
Icecap: Found only in Winterspring and occassionally ALterac Valley, this is the high-level version of Wintersbite. It is used for frost-typed potions/items, and has a huge price tag. They are spread out all over the zone of Winterspring, and found usually surroudned by level 55 plus enemies.
Black Lotus: The rarest herb (besides Bloodvine), it requires level 300 to pick, and is green quality. In 1.7 or 1.8, it was changed from Bind of Pickup, and can now be sold on the AH. It is used in the Flask recipes, the fabled alchemist's stone, and as something in ZG. Only one Black Lotus will be picked at any single herbal node. These plants are found infrequently in some high-end zones; I can personally confirm finding them in the Burning Steppes and Winterspring.
Bloodvine: Like Wildvine, it is used more often in crafting than in alchemy (I don't know if alchemy uses it at all heh), but it is still an herb in my eyes. To get this herb, you need a Blood Scythe that can be found off a Jinxed Hoodoo Pile. Then you can harvest Bloodvine off normal herbs in ZG! It also drops rarely off enemies in the instance.
Your herbalism skill: many people have said that having high herbalism skill will allow them to: A) Pick more herbs from resource points B) Get Morrowgrain more often from a packet seeds/Un'goro Soil.
My take: A) The amount of herbs at a resource point is decided not when you pick the plant, but when the plant spawns. Therefore, skill allows you to pick the plant, but does not determine how many herbs there are harvested. At level 300, I can still only pick 1 Silverleaf. It just happens. The only thing herbalism skill will do is (if the herb you are picking falls into the yellow skill range), you are guaranteed to pick the plant on your first try. At level 300, I sometimes need to try harvesting a plant three times to get the herb. However, I do not believe herbalism skill increases the number of items you harvest.
B) I'm not so sure. I don't see any reason (besides common sense) that this should happen, but I have no evidence one way or another. Perhaps someone else can comment.
Herbalist's Gloves: plus 5 skill
Enchant Gloves - Herbalism: plus 2 skill
Enchant Gloves - Advanced Herbalism: plus 5 skill
A Tauren's innate racial bonus: Cultivation: Increase skill bonus to Herbalism (plus 15 skill)
You will always only pick one Black Lotus or Ghost Mushroom at a time.
Herbs generally follow your alchemy. Your skill level divided by 5 should be what you "should" be making in alchemy, and thus what flowers you need to pick with herbalism. If you find yourself itching because you cannot get herbs in higher level areas, just relax a bit; level up a bit and you'll be surprised how easy they are to get.
A mount increases your herb-gathering abilities immensely. Not only can "ninja-herbalism" (my own term for running into a difficult area on a mount, dismounting, picking the herb, and remounting to escape just as I get aggroed) happen, but you can just go faster, making gathering in large zones a lot easier.
You become unstealthed when you pick an herb; this is important for rogues and Druids. If you stealth into an area to get an herb, make sure you clear the nearest enemy before taking your prize. If you get hit while harvesting, you'll be interrupted.
Gatherer: This mod remembers the area where you pick an herb so you can find it later. Pretty nifty, and it comes recommended (although I'll admit I remember my best spots from memory without using this mod): http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info4100-Gatherer.html