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Thailand’s Auspicious White Trumpet Tree (Cana)

The White Trumpet tree, or “Dton Cana” (ต้นแคนา) as it’s called in Thai, is a flowering tree commonly seen in Thailand, especially in or near the rice fields of Isaan. It has large, white trumpet flowers which bloom from March – June.  These bell-shaped flowers often are seen fallen and scattered around the trunk of the tree, and attract pollinating bees and other insects.

Growing to a height of 10 – 20 meters, the White Trumpet tree’s leafy canopy provides welcome shade from Thailand’s hot sun. It’s flowers bloom at night, and the pods can appear rather hidden in the tree.

So, if you have White Trumpet Tree in your Thai garden, you might be unaware that the tree has bloomed at all — unless you examine the tree in the evening, or a storm comes at night and suddenly you see all the flowers scattered around the base of the tree in the morning.

Auspicious Trees of Thailand

Trees in Thailand that are thought to bring good fortune are known as “Dton Mai Mongkhon” (ต้นไม้มงคล), or Auspicious Trees. The Cana, which the Thais also call “Khae Pa” (แคป่า), is one of these auspicious trees, as it’s believed that it will bring prosperity to your life — with lots of caring friends, family, and customers (if you are a business owner).

This is why you’ll find White Trumpet trees planted near homes, resorts, government offices, and in rice fields — and why they are sometimes planted during red-ribbon cutting events in Thailand.


Thai Dton Cana Tree - ต้นแคนา
White trumpet flowers will often fall during the night and be seen caught in the branches.

White Trumpet Tree Medicinal Benefits

Like so many trees in Thailand, the White Trumpet tree has a range of medicinal benefits that have been discovered by Thai folk healers over the centuries. For example:

Cana seeds have been used as a remedy for nerve pain, and alleviate seizures and diarrhea.

Cana flowers have been used to assist sleep, relieve stomach gas and sore throats, and nourish the blood.

Cana leaves have been boiled and used as a mouthwash, and pounded into a poultice to treat wounds.


Dton Cana Tree Flower - ต้นแคนา
The flowers of Thailand’s White Trumpet tree have a long, tubular stem.

Making White Trumpet Flower Tea

In Northeastern Thailand, white trumpet flowers are commonly picked and eaten fresh with dishes such as larb moo. You also can use to the flowers to make a nourishing tea that will soothe the throat and make you more alert and rejuvenated.

To do this, you should:

1. Wash the white trumpet flowers thoroughly, and cut off the very ends of the stem.

2. Pull out the stamen in the center of the flowers. If you don’t do this, your tea will be bitter.

3. Boil the trumpet flowers for about 45 seconds (no longer than 1 minute).

4. Pour the tea through a tea strainer, and serve hot with a sweet Thai dessert.

5. You can also eat the blanched Cana flowers with chili paste or som tam (papaya salad).

David Alan