Hairy Panic Tumblewed Clogs Homes and Yards in Australian Town of Wangaratta

Posted on February 18, 2016

A tumbleweed named "Hairy Panic" has buried cars and covered yards in Wangaratta, Ausralia. The scientific name for the weed is Panicum effusum. The dry grass has been blowing in to the town all summer and it returns as fast as residents can remove it.

The Guardian reports that residents have to clear the tumbleweed several times each day. Authorities are unable to provide assistance such as burning the grass because the conditions are too dry.

CNN reports that Hairy Panic weed is toxic to sheep if eaten in large quantities. They get a potentially deadly condition called "yellow big head" if they eat too much Hairy Panic weed.

Although it is dry now it is wet conditions earlier this year that led to the problem. A spokesperson for Wangaratta told CNN, "The grass is around most years. But conditions are ideal for it at present because we had quite a wet January."

A resident told Sky News as she looked at her yard buried in tumbleweed, "I spent eight hours yesterday cleaning up the tumbleweed...and this is what I've got today."

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