new hostplant for cabbage whites?

Grace Jeschke gjeschke at
Sat Jul 16 10:32:07 EDT 2011

I've been missing the wonderful CBA walks because I've moved back to
Philadelphia, where my family is. Fortunately, I've been having a few
butterfly adventures of my own, mostly involving caterpillars. This morning
my mother noticed 7 mostly late-instar Cabbage White caterpillars devouring
an isolated *Cleome hassleriana* plant. I have some photos if anyone is

My field guide puts *Cleome* in Capparaceae, but according to Wikipedia,
they are more closely related to Brassicaceae. Is this a case of 'a cabbage
white will eat anything that looks remotely like a crucifer' or is it more
interesting than that?

Thanks for your input (and sharing your own lep-related adventures).

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