The large white butterfly has a wingspan of about 65 millimetres. It has a grey body and chalky white wings. The underside of the hind wing is yellowish in colour. The female has two black spots and a streak above the forewing, while the male has only one black spot. The caterpillars grow up to 40 millimetres long and are yellowish green with black spots.
The large white inhabits gardens, fields and grasslands up to 1,800 metres in the mountains. A common butterfly, it is found in Europe, North Africa, and Eastern and Central Asia.
Winter is passed as a chrysalis and the larval stage lasts about one month. The caterpillar feeds mainly on cabbage, but also on cultivated and wild plants belonging to the same family.