Parodia crassigibba (Syn. Parodia werneri)

Parodia crassigibba after it arrived in the mail on 11-30-20, #766-6.

Parodia crassigibba

par-ROH-dee-uh  krass-ih-GIB-uh


Parodia werneri

par-ROH-dee-uh  WER-ner-ee


Synonyms of Parodia crassigibba (21) (Updated 12-23-20): Notocactus arachnitis F.Ritter (1970), Notocactus arachnitis f. darilhoensis N.Gerloff (1997), Notocactus arachnitis var. minor F.Ritter (1970), Notocactus arachnitis f. minor (F.Ritter) N.Gerloff & Neduchal (2004), Notocactus crassigibbus F.Ritter (1970), Notocactus meonacanthus Prestlé (1986), Notocactus uebelmannianus Buining (1968), Notocactus uebelmannianus f. flaviflorus N.Gerloff & Königs (1992), Notocactus uebelmannianus f. gilviflorus Königs & N.Gerloff (1993), Notocactus uebelmannianus var. nilsonii Königs (1990), Notocactus uebelmannianus f. nilsonii (Königs) N.Gerloff & Neduchal (2004), Notocactus uebelmannianus subsp. pleiocephalus (N.Gerloff & Königs) Lodé (2013), Notocactus uebelmannianus var. pleiocephalus N.Gerloff & Königs (1992), Parodia meonacantha (Prestlé) Hofacker (1998), Parodia uebelmanniana F.Ritter (1980), Parodia werneri Hofacker (1998), Parodia werneri subsp. pleiocephala (N.Gerloff & Königs) Hofacker (1998), Ritterocactus crassigibbus (F.Ritter) Doweld (1999), Ritterocactus meonacanthus (Prestlé) Doweld (1999), Ritterocactus uebelmannianus (Buining) Doweld (1999), Ritterocactus uebelmannianus subsp. pleiocephalus (N.Gerloff & Königs) Doweld (1999)

Parodia crassigibba (F.Ritter) N.P.Taylor is now the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Parodia. It was named and described as such by Nigel Paul Taylor in Bradleya (Yearbook of the British Cactus and Succulent Society) in 1987. It was named Notocactus crassigibbus by Friedrich Ritter in Succulenta in 1970.

Now a synonym, Parodia werneri Hofacker was named and described as such by Andreas Hofacker in Cactaceae Consensus Initiatives in 1998. It was FIRST” named Notocactus uebelmannianus by Albert Frederik Hendrick Buining in Kakteen und Andere Sukkulenten in 1968 but when the species of Notocactus were transferred to the Parodia genus, there was already a Parodia uebelmannianus so the name was changed to Parodia werneri. But, apparently, they were already the same species anyway.

The genus, Parodia Speg., was named and described as such by Carlo Luigi Spegazzini in Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina in 1923.

Plants of the World Online lists 63 species in the Parodia genus (as of 12-23-20 when I am updating this page). Parodia is a member of the plant family Cactaceae with 144 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.


Parodia crassigibba at 7/8″ tall x 1 7/8″ wide on 11-30-20, #766-7.

I purchased this neat little Parodia crassigibba from Succulent Depot on Ebay along with a Mammillaria senilis and Schlumbergera russeliana. The listing was for Parodia werneri but that name is a synonym of Parodia crassigibba, at least for now. It is also sometimes still sold under the name of Notocactus uebelmannianus. When the plant arrived it was only 7/8″ tall x 1 7/8″ wide so we have a lot of growing to do. I have two other Parodia species in my cactus collection and they have always done very well. You can click on their names, Parodia lenninghausii and Parodia magnifica if you want to view their pages.

Mammillaria crassigibba started out its life growing in somewhat rocky soil in the Rio Grande Do Sul area in southern Brazil. Minding its own business and getting along happily until its life was turned upside-down. The area started being converted into agricultural land for crops and grazing and now it is an endangered species. For many years, teams of researchers scoured the area naming and renaming many species of cactus. It was a disaster!

Parodia crassigibba on 11-30-20, #766-8.

The name history of this plant is VERY complicated and confusing. The Parodia genus as a whole is very confusing but I am not going to get into that here. Basically, the 66 species currently in the genus were/are divided into several groups because of unique features and certain testing. Several genera and their species were moved to the Parodia genus and many of those species were already in the Parodia genus with different names. Not only that, MANY of the species were named in a MULTIPLE of genera with the same or different species names. ALL were considered accepted scientific names at the same time. I wrote down the synonyms of this plant in order by the date named and it was almost hilarious. This particular plant was originally named Notocactus uebelmannianus by Albert Frederik Buining in 1968. In 1970, Friedrich Ritter named the species Notocactus arachnitis (he also named a Notocactus arachnitis var. minor) and Notocactus crassigibbus. SO, then there were three accepted species in the same genus of the same plant. Then Mr. Ritter named Parodia uebelmanniana in 1980 WITHOUT considering it was the same plant Mr. Buining named in 1968 as Notocactus uebelmannianus. SO THEN, in 1998, when Notocactus was transferred to Parodia, there was already a Parodia uebelmanniana, so Andreas Hofacker renamed the species Parodia werneri… SO, in all, there were four species names (including Parodia meonacantha) and a subspecies of the SAME plant… EVEN after the decision was made to transfer several genera to Parodia was in the works, another guy comes along and writes a document establishing the genera Ritterocactus in 1999 and renames the three species and subspecies (of the same plant) Ritterocactus crassigibbus, Ritterocactus meonacanthus, Ritterocactus uebelmannianus, and Ritterocactus uebelmannianus subsp. pleiocephalus. Then, in 2004, two forms of Notocactus were named, and in 2013 a subspecies… ALL the same species… All are now synonyms of Parodia crassigibba

I just can’t figure out how this plant wound up being named Parodia crassigibbus instead of Parodia werneri. Parodia werneri (1998) replaced the first name given to this plant in 1968, Notocactus uebelmannianus. Parodia crassigibbus (1987) replaced Notocactus crassigibbus (1970). Usually, the first name ultimately wins the prize. Well, I am not a taxonomist so I am not in the argument. Besides, there are 21 synonyms of the same species. You would think when they choose a name they would go for the one that is the easiest to pronounce. I think par-ROH-dee-uh WER-ner-ee is much easier to say than par-ROH-dee-uh krass-ih-GIB-uh. 🙂

Parodia crassigibba on 11-30-20, #766-9.

This is one of the smaller growing species of globose shaped cactus. Mature specimens only grow to about 6-8″ tall (depending on which website you look at). The species grows 10-16 ribs (mine has 13) and has broad, chin-like tubercles between the areoles (Hmmm… That’s what the experts say, but I thought areoles grow on top of the tubercles…). It has 6-14 radial spines that are somewhat appressed and, if there is a central spine present, it points downward. You can actually pick it up without getting stuck. It is normally a solitary growing cactus, meaning it doesn’t normally grow in clusters, BUT sometimes it does. Hmmm…

Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Rio Grande Do Sul in southern Brazil
Zones: USDA Zones 9b-11 (25 to 40° F/-3.8 to 4.5° C)
Size: 6-8” tall
*Light: Sun to part shade.
**Soil: Fast draining. Good quality potting soil mixed 50/50 with pumice or additional perlite and chicken grit (2-1-1).
***Water: Regular watering during the summer but barely if any, during the winter.

*During the summer, I keep most of my cactus on the back deck where they receive full sun. During the winter most cactus aren’t picky about the light because they are basically dormant. For several winters, mine were in front of the east-facing sliding door in the dining room so they didn’t get much light but they did great. I built a new shelf for the bedroom so now they are in front of a west-facing window. Most of the succulents are on a shelf in a south-facing window in a cool bedroom but a few are in my bedroom.

**When it comes to potting soil, finding the “sweet spot” is not exactly that easy when materials are limited. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts (and experts) do not recommend using peat-based commercial mixes but what choice is there for most of us. They say to use a loam-based mix… Hmmm… Our soil is loam, so do I just use dirt? Well, no because “dirt” is heavy and you need a “light” material. There is A LOT of cactus and succulent recipes online and some get pretty elaborate. Many say to use sand as an ingredient, but if you do that, it needs to be very coarse, like builders sand, because “ordinary” sand, like for sandboxes, is too fine and it clogs up the air space between the coarser ingredients. For MANY years I used 2 parts Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting amended with an additional 1 part of perlite and 1 part chicken grit. Schultz doesn’t seem to have as many large pieces of bark. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts recommended using pumice instead of perlite and grit so I checked it out… The “guy” at General Pumice (online) recommended using a 50/50 mix of potting soil and pumice. General Pumice has 3 different sizes to choose from depending on the size of the pot. SO, in 2018 I bought a bag of 1/8″ and mixed it 50/50 with Miracle Grow Potting Soil. I liked it pretty well. Then in 2020, since most of the cactus were in larger pots, I ordered the 1/4″ size. Pumice has a lot of benefits over perlite and has nutrients that are added to the soil when watering. Pumice is also heavier so it stays mixed in the soil instead of “floating” to the top. Still, there is the issue of the mix getting very hard once you stop watering the plants during the winter when you stop watering. I think this is because of the peat in the potting soil… SO, instead of re-potting the cactus and succulents in the spring, I started doing it during the fall and winter so their soil would be loose. Since you don’t water as frequently during the winter if at all, the timed-release fertilizer does not activate. I have not tried coir, but I am looking into it… 

I think a lot of growing tips online are written by people who never grew succulents and cactus. They just copy from one website and paste it to theirs. You have to sort of mimic the soil where species grow in their native habitat. For that, you almost have to go see for yourself… Typically, they grow in fairly rocky soil.

***I water my cactus and succulents on a regular basis during the summer but barely ever in the winter (maybe a little in January) until close to time to take them back outside. 

You can read my Cactus Talk & Update and Cactus & Succulent Tips to get my opinion about growing cactus and succulents.

When you bring your new plants home from the store, you need to check their roots and the soil to see if they are wet. If so, you may want to re-pot it right away. It is advisable to re-pot them in a better potting soil more suitable for cactus and succulents.

I am sure the Parodia crassigibba will do well. I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. Llifle still has both species of Parodia listed as accepted, but photos and information are on the page for Parodia werneri. CactiGuide has photos and information for both species, but of course, P. werneri is a synonym of P. crassigibba. I am sure someday they will update but they are very busy and have a lot of plant names to keep up with. If you find that I have made an error, you can leave a comment or email me at

(GENUS/P. crassigibba/P. werneri)