Hindu god has appeared in plant form

NEW YORK (AP) - October 22, 2008

The amaranth plant in the backyard of Sam Lal's Queens home began to resemble an elephant's head and trunk in August after growing all summer.

The 60-year-old Hindu man says the formation appeared to bless and heal him. He says pain he suffered from a bone spur disappeared when the plant grew.

Queens Botanical Garden spokesman Tim Heimerle says horticulturists there have never seen an amaranth take an elephant-like shape. He says the trunk-like formation is "not a natural thing."

Lal says the flower grew through concrete, facing a prayer space - further evidence of its connection to Ganesh, the Remover of Obstacles.

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