A tumbleweed is the above-ground part of any of a number of plants that, once mature and dry, disengage from the root and tumble away in the wind. Usually, the tumbleweed is the entire plant apart from the roots, but in a few species it is a flower cluster. The tumbleweed habit is most common in steppe and desert climates. The tumbleweed's association with the Western film has led to a highly symbolic meaning in visual media. It has come to represent locations that are desolate, dry, and often humorless, with few or no occupants. A common use is when characters encounter a long abandoned or dismal-looking place: a tumbleweed will be seen rolling past, often accompanied by the sound of a dry, hollow wind. This is sometimes used, for comedic effect, in locations where tumbleweeds are not expected.