The main colour of the top of the wings of the Orange Tip butterfly is white. The male has orange at the wing tip.
Both male and female can be identified by the mottled green pattern of the underside of the hindwing.
months seen in my garden: April and May
Orange Tip on Aubrieta, photographed in my Wiltshire garden in 1999.
Orange Tip on Honesty in my present garden in Cirencester, 19 May 2002.
Since this butterfly is only seen in the Spring, it requires spring-flowering plants to feed upon and many of these require extra effort from the gardener.
The few Orange Tip visitors to my garden have generally been males visiting Aubrieta.
On Sunday 4 May 2003, a female Orange Tip butterfly took a great interest in a weed that had sneaked under the back fence. I found that the weed was called Jack-by-the-Hedge or Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) - a larval foodplant of the Orange Tip butterfly. Later I discovered a caterpillar on this plant which I suspect was an Orange Tip.
Size: 46mm (slightly smaller than Small White - see list of butterflies by size)
First Generation flight period: April-June
Male is easily identifed by orange tips to forewings. Female does not have that orange but both sexes have a grey-green mottled underside of the hindwing which distinguish this butterfly from other Whites.
Larval Food Plants: Garlic Mustard, Hedge Mustard, Cuckoo flower, Charlock, Watercress & cruciferous plants
Family Group: Pieridae - see list of butterflies by family