The male Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) is a large, bright lemon-yellow butterfly. The female is a pale greenish-yellow, almost white. Both have pointed leaf-shaped wings with visible veins.
Brimstones are one of the first butterflies to appear each year, flying on warm days throughout the year, especially in spring. They are one of the butterflies doing well in the High Weald and can be seen in sunny places here in scrubby grassland, woodland and ‘rides’ (open, woodland corridors), hedgerows, verges, wetland, open ground and gardens.
The caterpillars’ food plants are the Alder Buckthorn tree of wet woodlands, riverbanks and heathlands, and the Purging Buckthorn tree which is less common in the High Weald. If you have a garden, you can help attract butterflies like the Brimstone by planting nectar-rich flowers, and climbing ivy and shrubs for winter shelter.
Woodland management for butterflies and moths – a downloadable guide from Butterfly Conservation.
Tips on encouraging butterflies and moths into your garden from Butterfly Conservation.
More gardening for butterflies from Wild About Gardens by the Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society.