'Ghost' weed invades town

A frame grab from video footage released to AFP from Australian TV's Channel 7 yesterday, which shows a man clearing out fast-growing tumbleweed from a home in the town of Wangaratta, 250km north-east of Melbourne.

Called "hairy panic", the plant has been paralysing parts of the Australian town, although it is not quite the existential nightmare that its name suggests, just a fast-growing tumbleweed.

This season has seen an unusual amount of hairy panic - known scientifically as Panicum effusum - with hundreds of thousands of the fuzzy, yellowish plants swamping the entrances of homes, driveways and backyards.

Residents have been left frustrated and exhausted trying to rid their properties of the ghost-like weed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2016, with the headline ''Ghost' weed invades town'. Print Edition | Subscribe