'Hairy panic' grass has overtaken a town in rural Victoria, Australia
Dry conditions have made the tumbleweed a pain for local residents
Photos have emerged of a small town in rural Australia buried in a bizarre type of grass.
The so-called ‘hairy panic’ grass has engulfed Wangaratta’s homes, gardens and garages. And as fast as residents get rid of it, it just rolls right back in.
“We have a table and eight chairs,” says Pam Twitchett to CNN affiliate Seven Network, motioning towards a mountain of dry weed where her yard once was. “And a day bed… and probably a few plants.”
‘Hairy panic’ grass, also known by its Latin name Panicum effusum, grows quickly and is found in every Australian state.
“The grass is around most years,” a spokesperson for Rural City of Wangaratta told CNN. “But conditions are ideal for it at present because we had quite a wet January.”
The grass contains a toxin that can be deadly to sheep, and causes a condition called “yellow big head” if its eaten in large quantities.
But more than anything, for local residents, it’s just a massive pain.
“It’s physically draining, and mentally more draining,” said Twitchett.
“It is frustrating,” another resident said. “You know you’ve got a couple of hours of work ahead of you.”
A nearby unmaintained paddock is being blamed for the mess.