The caterpillar lives on mostly wild Brassicaceae, such as Alliaria petiolata or Cardamine species. It occurs occasionally on Reseda and rarely also capuchin cress (Tropaeolum). The caterpillars live only very rarely on cultivated cabbages.
Pieris napi is a ubiquist, but finds its optimum at woody places and in forest fringes. In the agricultural fields the butterfly is much less common than Pieris rapae.
There are two or three, rarely even four generations between March and October. In the spring, Pieris napi is more common than in the autumn. This indicates that the generations are not complete. The pupa overwinters.
Pieris napi is common and not endangered.
The distribution is ranging from North Africa across Europe and Asia to North America (Holarctic distribution type).