Abstract We studied oviposition preference of Plutella xylostella for four cultivars of cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower in the field. There were no differences in the number of eggs found on the various cultivars of broccoli or cauliflower. Significantly more eggs were laid on cultivar Savoy King than any of the other cabbage cultivars tested. We then compared the development time and feeding damage of larvae reared on Savoy King and Green Coronet cabbages. Larvae developed more rapidly and fed more and for longer on Green Coronet than Savoy King. Thus, while Savoy King is more attractive to oviposition in the field, net impacts on the crop may be lessened to some degree through lower feeding proficiency of the larvae on that cultivar.