Annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades convolute to lanceolate; ligule membranous or a line of hairs. Inflorescence composed of untidy racemes, these digitate or in whorls on a short central axis; rhachis triquetrous, bearing paired or fascicled spikelets. Spikelets ovate to elliptic, dorsally compressed; glumes unequal, the lower shorter than the spikelet, acute to acuminate, the upper equalling the spikelet and ciliate on the margins; lower floret male, its lemma resembling the upper glume but eciliate, the palea short and deeply bifid; upper lemma chartaceous, acuminate to a short awn, its narrow margins covering only the edges of the acute palea. Caryopsis elliptic-oblong.