In contrast to the books named above, the text in Kentmann’s Kreutterbuch, which was only to be presented to the Elector, plays a vanishingly small part: The reverse of the title page shows under the heading „Genesis I“ two quotations from the Genesis that describe the growth, propagation and the fruits of plants as food (Gen 1,11 and 29-30) (plate 1v). Following this is the dedication signed on 26 October 1563 by Kentmann to the Electorate (plate 6r/v; originally plate 2r/v). It includes parts similar to the dedications by Fuchs, but with less emphasis on the medicinal uses of plants and more on their aesthetics and symbolism. At the beginning three rulers from antiquity are mentioned: the Persian king Cyrus the Great (ruled approx. 559-530 B.C. who created a formal garden in Susa), the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (ruled 336-323 B.C. who admired the hanging gardens of Babylon and sent exotic plants from his Indian campaign back to his homeland) and the Roman emperor Vespasian (ruled 69-79 A.D. who preferred to occupy his time in the „Horti Sallustiani“ in Rome). Elector August is placed with these three, who just as wise Solomon did, knew of the benefits of plants and recognized and honoured in them the work of the creator. On to August’s Regency is transferred God’s creation and protection of plant prosperity, blossoming and fruits, especially King David’s palm symbol (Ps 92,13), representing justice (not without reason is the dedication followed by a picture of the date palm). At the end Kentmann explains the order of plants in the „Kreutterbuch“ which is not done (as by Fuchs) in alphabetical order, but by morphological features: The first part is trees (to plate 38r), the second part is perennials and hedges (to plate 62v) and the third part herbs. The latter are split into winter flowering plants (December to February, to plate 66r), bulbs (to plate 80v), herbs with beautiful form and flowers, with curved and fibrous roots (to pate 105r), herbs with flowers and seeds in bunches (to plate 292r) and herbs with spines or prickly seeds (to plate 299v).
Kentmann dispensed with the Greek and Latin nomenclature commonly used at the time and simply added to each plant illustration above the upper frameline descriptions in German, which are listed at the end of the book (plate Ir-Ivv) in an alphabetical index, (Register uber die Namen und Zunamen) with page numbers. Also missing are citations from the writings, descriptions and information about medicinal effects from doctors of antiquity. The masterful plant illustrations by David Redtel, with finely graduated hues made more luminous by the egg tempera colours applied onto the underlying pencil drawing, speak in a way for themselves.
Around 125 of these go back to coloured quill drawings by Kentmann which he made during his stay in Italy which were bound together with his own hand written explanations (Observations), zoological illustrations and texts, along with nature prints (Typographia naturalis) by Kentmann’s son Theophil into an album with the title „Plantarum atque animantium nunquam hactenus impressarum imagines, partim in Italia, partim in aliis nationibus collectae et ad vivum expressae“ (Illustrations of plants and animals never before printed, collected partly in Italy and partly in other countries and depicted true to life) (today held as „Codex Kentmanus“ in the Duchess Anna Amalia library in Weimar). For the remaining plant illustrations Redtel could fall back on the live specimens from the botanical