‘Hairy panic’ tumbleweed clogs up Australian town

Wangaratta residents forced to clean up fast-growing plant which covers houses

Tumbleweed known as 'hairy panic' takes over the Victorian rural town of Wangaratta, as homes are engulfed by the weed. Video: Reuters


A fast-growing tumbleweed known as ‘hairy panic’ took over a street in the Victorian rural town of Wangaratta on Wednesday, clogging homes and frustrating residents complaining of the clean-up time.

As winds pick up, the wild tumbleweed - known scientifically as Panicum effusum - has covered properties, gardens and garages in the town 250km northeast of Melbourne.

Local media reported that the tumbleweed has been around for a couple of years, but the dry conditions have made this summer the worst.

Residents suspect that the tumbleweed is coming from a nearby field that a farmer has failed to maintain, local media reported.

The local council has refused to help homeowners with the clean-up as the weed is not considered a fire risk, forcing residents to clear it up themselves, local media reported.