Gardening with Moths: The nocturnal pollinator!
There’s a lot of flower-visiting that we never notice, because the pollinators involved are moths, and much of it happens at night.
Classic nocturnal “moth plants” are easily recognised because they tend to be pale-coloured and often scented, especially at night. This is all in aid of being found by moths, which have an excellent sense of smell, so they can detect scented flowers at some distance.
Another feature of classic moth flowers, especially those pollinated by hawkmoths, is that they tend to be tubular with a flared opening, a bit like the bell of a trombone or French horn, or maybe like the horn of an old-fashioned gramophone.
The classic hawkmoth plants are daturas and brugmansias, some of them with flowers that are not only trumpet-shaped, but nearly as big as a trumpet. The fragrance also increases at night to attract moths to pollinate them.
Grow Brugmansia and you may well see the most common species of moth and the elephant hawkmoth feeding at dusk on Angel Trumpets!
Other plants which attract moths include honeysuckle, nicotianas, jasmine, pale petunias and Ipomoea alba (moonflower).
Article extracted/adapted from by Ken Thompson 2015, Telegraph. Read the full article here: