The rural Australian city of Wangaratta, Victoria, has recently been suffering from an outbreak of 'hairy panic' - the common name given to the tumbleweed Panicum effusum - a grass native to inland Australia.
dry conditions have caused the tumbleweed to appear in unusually huge
quantities, threatening to overwhelm the homes of local residents and
returning even after it has been cleared away.
The tumbleweed can pile up to several metres high outside homes, making it difficult to deal with.
The source of the hairy panic is thought to be an area or former farmland which is now unused and unmanaged.
spectacle was captured by a local television station, which brought
people from other parts of Australia to see the outbreak for themselves.
are a number of other similar types of grass, but Panicum effusum is
particularly troublesome because it grows quickly and can form
tumbleweeds, which are normally intended for the purpose of seed
dispersal, helping to propagate the plant.
The local council of
Wangaratta has said that it is considering using large vacuums attached
to street sweepers to combat the problem.
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