Annual, small, tufted, sometimes geniculate. Leaf blade expanded to rolled, almost filiform; ligule a long unfringed membrane. Inflorescence an open panicle, branches capillary and conspicuously divaricate; spikelets solitary, pedicelled; pedicel club-shaped at apex. Spikelet 2-3 mm long, laterally compressed; disarticulating above glumes and between florets; glumes very unequal, shorter than spikelet, awnless; lower glume minute or almost absent, nerveless; upper glume 1-nerved. Florets 2-7, bisexual; lemma similar in texture to glumes, membranous, obtuse to rounded, glabrous, 3-nerved, keeled on all 3 nerves, awnless; callus short, glabrous; palea bilobed, 2-keeled. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3, ovoid. Ovary glabrous; styles plumose. Caryopsis oblong-ellipsoid. x= 6, 7 (polyploidy).
Species 2, Mediterranean to Iran; 1 naturalised in sthn Afr.: * Sphenopus divaricatus (Gouan) Rchb., W Northern Cape and Western Cape.