The wings are white, with prominent greenish veins on the hind wing. The upper wings have one or more spots. The Small White is similar, but lacks the green veins. 

Size and Family

  • Family: Whites and yellows
  • Size: Medium
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 50mm

Conservation Status

  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
  • European status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

A range of wild crucifers is used: Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis), Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) Water- cress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum), Charlock (Sinapis arvensis), Large Bitter-cress (C. amara), Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea), and Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum). Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) and cultivated crucifers are used occassionally.



This common butterfly prefers damp areas with lush vegetation, where its foodplant is found. It usually occurs in hedgerows, ditches, banks of rivers, lakes and ponds, damp meadows, moorland and woodland rides and edges.  The butterfly can also be found in gardens, but favours damp areas.


  • Countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
  • Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland
  • Distribution trend since the 1970s = -1%

Green-veined White (underwing) - Tamás Nestor

Green-veined White (underwing)

Green-veined White (underwing) - Iain Leach

Green-veined White (underwing)

Green-veined White (male/spring brood) - Vlad Proklov

Green-veined White (male/spring brood)

Green-veined White (upperwing) by Peter Eeles

Green-veined White (male/summer brood)

Green-veined White (male & female) - Bob Eade

Green-veined White (male & female)

Green-veined White (egg) by Peter Eeles

Green-veined White (egg)

Green-veined White (caterpillar) by Peter Eeles

Green-veined White (caterpillar)