Nathan Friedrich David Dietrich was born in Ziegenhain in 1800. Like his famous great-great-uncle, the botanist Adam Dietrich and his uncle Friedrich Gottlieb Dietrich, Weimar court gardener and editor of the encyclopedia of gardening and botany, David Dietrich followed family tradition and devoted his life to botany. From 1828 Dietrich worked as an academic botanic gardener in Jena.
In 1836 he took his doctorate at the local university, before he became the curator of the Jena university herbarium under E. Stahl in the last years of his life. During his lifetime, David Dietrich wrote various specific treatise on German flora, including poisonous plants, mosses and forest flora, and published several important encyclopedias on botany. David Dietrich died on October 23, 1888 in Jena.
Among David Dietrich's most important works were his five-volume "Synopsis plantarum", written between 1839 and 1852, which describe 524 genuses with over 80,000 species, "Deutschlands Flora", also in 5 volumes with 1,150 partially colored illustrations and "Der Botaniker", written from 1833 to 1864, as well as 476 booklets of "Flora universalis".
This work of copperplate engravings for texts by LinnÚs, Willdenows, De Candolles, Sprengels, R÷mers and Schultes included approximately 4760 colorized illustrations. Both with regard to quality and scope, "Flora universalis" is a rarity in the field of botany.