Woke in the night with the scent of a pot of Iris danfordiae filling the bedroom. I have never grown this tiny turk before and was unprepared for its perfume. What insects are such flowers of the winter trying to attract? There are not many, and their scents, it seems to me, have something in common: a trace of honey and a musky facet which can become a little too strong at close quarters. Winter Heliotrope and Viburnum Bodnantense are both better at a little distance. There are wines that do this to me; Muller Thurgau, for instance.
When flowers use their energy to broadcast scent at night can it be moths they are after? Certainly they look eager for visitors; the little yellow irises stand bolt upright like nestlings with their beaks stretched open, beseeching food.