Block of the Month: Nether Wart
The Nether is all about fungus – there are entire forests of the stuff there, coming in both red (crimson) and green (warped) flavours. Today’s block of the month is of the “crimson” variety – it’s Nether wart, and it doesn’t taste very nice. Also, hey, we’re Block of the Month now! This because we ran out of blocks are making room for a new, secret thing coming within the near future. Stay tuned!
Nether wart has been around for a very long time – added originally in version 1.0.0 of the game, way back in November 2011. However, Nether wart blocks are much more recent, added in the Frostburn Update in 2016 – and used extensively in the Nether Update in 2019.
It’s quite easy to get hold of a Nether wart block once you’ve made your way to the Nether. Either gather nine Nether wart plants from a Nether fortress and plop them in a crafting grid, or track down a Crimson Forest biome and hack up the cap of a huge fungi.
Unlike many blocks made of nine individual items, you can’t convert Nether wart blocks back into Nether Wart plants again. This is intentional, and there are two reasons for it, explained by Jens “Jeb” Bergensten in this post.
First, I created this block as a cosmetic building block and not as a storage block. It just made more sense to me that you would mash together the nether wart into something that couldn't be reverted, but hey, Minecraft logic works everywhere =)
The second reason was that in the "adventure meta game" you need to find a fortress to unlock potions, and we may want to use the Nether Wart Block in other features in the future without changing the value of the fortresses.Jeb
Got a mountain of Nether wart blocks and want to get rid of them? There are two options. First, you can use them defensively – piglins, zombified piglins and hoglins won’t spawn on top of Nether wart blocks, making your home-away-from-home in the Nether a little bit safer. Second, you can compost the blocks – giving an 85% chance of levelling up your heap.
In the real world, names for plants that end in a -wart or -wort suffix tend to be very old, and used primarily for herbs and plants with medicinal uses. The “wort” suffix originally derives from the Old English “wyrt”, and it can be traced back even further to the ancient Germanic word “wurtiz” – which is also where the modern German word for root, “wurzel”, comes from.
The name of each plant is usually related to the part of the body or illness that the plant was supposed to treat. Some examples include Lungwort, Throatwort, Navelwort, Bloodwort, Bruisewort, Cancerwort, Bollockwort, and Feverwort. There’s even a Wartwort.
However, there are plenty of other -wort plants that don’t have anything to do with the body. Glasswort, Hillwort, Laserwort, Pennywort, Moonwort and – of course – Hogwort. Presumably these names were granted after “wort” came to be understood as simply “plant”, rather than treating a specific condition.
In Minecraft, Nether wart doesn’t really treat any specific illness, though it is a common potion ingredient, so you could probably argue that it’s medicinal in nature. Either way, gather as much of the stuff as you can – you’ll never know when you might need it!
- Written By
- Duncan Geere