Jacobus Theodorus (Tabernaemontanus), Neuw und volkommenlich Kreuterbuch, mit schönen, künstlichen und leblichen Figuren unnd Conterfeyten, Frankfurt am Mein: Nicolaus Basseus, 1588. 2°.
Jacobus Theodorus (Jacob Diether) called Tabernaemontanus was a famous German naturalist who is considered the father of modern botany. He was born in Bergzabern in the Palatinate (his pseudonym comes from the Latinized name of his hometown), he began his studies in Strassburg, and later studied medicine in Padua and Montpellier. After graduation, he worked as a pharmacist in Weissberg. His medical and pharmaceutical training proved to be a good foundation for his interest in plants, for during the Renaissance botany was closely associated with medical applications. He later had a medical practice in Heidelberg and served as court physician to the Count Palatine.
Tabernaemontanus was a student of two pioneers of Renaissance botany, Hieronymus Bock and Otto Brunfels. His fame as a naturalist, much like that of his teachers, rests on a herbarium he wrote. The first volume of the Neuw, und volkommenlich Kreuterbuch (New and completed book of herbs) was published in 1588. It was the result of 36 years of research and its publication was only possible through the financial support of the Elector John Casimir and the editor Basseus. The many illustrations in the book are remarkable for their realistic detail and because they show the plant in its entirety, including the underground parts (earlier it was common to add only very schematic drawings or only representations of flowers). Tabernaemontanus died in 1590 before he could complete his work. It was continued by others in the next editions.
Carl Linnaeus, who respected Tabernaemontanus as a scientific authority (he did not attach the same value to the work of other Renaissance botanists), named with his name a species of exotic flowers from the family Apocynaceae.