Green-veined White butterfly

Pieris napi

family - Pieridae (Whites)

Image of Green-veined White butterfly

The Green-veined White butterfly is a white butterfly of similar size to the Small White but has prominently outlined veins.

My personal observations of the Green-veined White butterfly

months seen in my garden: particularly May and August, but also July and September

garden plants that attract this species:

Aubrieta, Buddleia, Candytuft, Chives, Choisya, Dandelion, Forget-me-not, Hebe, Hyssop, Lobelia, Red Valerian, Scabious, Verbena, Virginian Stock

Butterfly sightings 2005:

First seen in my garden, hiding on polystyrene box, 21 April
Green-veined White on Herb-robert, 13 July
2 Green-veined Whites in garden, 1 August
Green-veined White seen in Yorkshire, 12 August

Butterfly sightings 2004:

Green-veined White on Bugle, 23 May

I was in hospital from July until November, hence no later images.

top 8 memorable digital images of 2003:

I had just 12 digital images saved from 2003, so here's the best 8 of them.

thumbnail link Side view showing prominent vein markings on hindwing. Feeding on Verbena. August 22.

thumbnail link Top view of male feeding on Scabious at Westonbirt International Festival of Gardens. August 30. Hard to distinguish from Small White male in this picture but I must have seen a side view at the time.

thumbnail link Same plant, same place as above. Lots of Green-veined Whites about that day (August 30). Heavy markings in this case.

thumbnail link Location - Stourhead Gardens, Wiltshire (National Trust). This Green-veined White butterfly was feeding on Self-Heal growing in the grass. August 12.

thumbnail link Feeding on Autumn Hawkbit (?) in the rough ground between the exhibition gardens at Westonbirt. August 30.

thumbnail link On Verbena. August 2.

thumbnail link On pink Hyssop. August 5.

thumbnail link On Hebe aurea. August 22.

Slides from 2003:

Green-veined White On Candytuft. July 6.

Green-veined White Resting on a Nettle along the farm track. July 6.

A selection of images from previous years:

31 May 2002, on Chives - view of top of wings
31 May 2002, on Chives - side view
31 May 2002, on Virginian Stock - side view
31 May 2002, on Virginian Stock - view of top of wings
21 April 2002 on Dandelion
9 September 2000 on Verbena
15 August 2000 on Kentranthus ruber
7 August 1999 on Buddleia
28 July 1999 on Candytuft
9 May 1999 on Forget-me-not


The underside of the hindwing identifies this butterfly from the Small White.

I expect to see a Green-veined White butterfly in my garden about May. Virginian Stock, Aubrieta and Forget-me-not are the flowers that attract the Spring brood.

Verbena and Candytuft are the main attractions for the Summer brood.

Reference Section

Size: 50mm (same size as Small White - see list of butterflies by size)

First Generation flight period: April-June
Second Generation flight period: July-August

The Spring generation are reported to have greyish upperside markings; the Summer generation have blacker markings. The second generation are said to be less heavily scaled on the underside than the first generation.

Males have a black tip to the forewing, a black spot on the upperside of the forewing and a black spot on the top edge of the hindwing. Females have additional black spot & dash on upperside of forewing.

Larval Food Plants: Charlock, Garlic Mustard, Watercress & cruciferous plants
Wild Nectar Plants: Dandelion, Autumn Hawkbit (Leontondon autumnalis) and Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris)

Family Group: Pieridae - see list of butterflies by family

This page last updated: 9 December, 2005