Green-veined White

Pieris napi


The Green-veined White is a fairly small, white butterfly. Adults fly between April and October. A common butterfly, it is found in a wide variety of habitats, including hedgerows, woodland rides and meadows, as well as farmland, gardens and parks. Water-cress is a very common host plant for the butterfly. The foodplants of the caterpillars are members of the cabbage family, including Cuckooflower and Hedge Mustard.

How to identify

The Green-veined White is white with black wingtips and one or two black spots on the forewing. Smaller than the Large White, it has less black in the wing. It can be distinguished from the very similar Small White by the thick grey-green stripes along the veins on the undersides of its wings. It also tends to be found in damper habitats.

Where to find it

Found across the country, although scarcer in the north of Scotland.


When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Butterflies such as the Green-veined White will happily visit your garden and are a joy to watch. To attract butterflies into your garden, plant nectar-rich borders for them to feed along and climbing Ivy and shrubs for overwintering insects. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Green-veined White
Latin name
Pieris napi
Butterflies and moths
Wingspan: 4-5.2cm
Conservation status