Perennial, tufted; culm erect, branched or simple. Leaf blade linear, rigid or soft, open and flat to rolled; sheaths appressed to culms; ligule a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence a panicle, somewhat contracted; spikelets pedicelled. Spikelet conspicuous, large, lanceolate, laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes; glumes 15-60 mm long, +/- equal, as long as to longer than spikelet, membranous, lanceolate, 3-5(7)-nerved, minutely scabrid, acuminate, awnless. Florets 2, bisexual; highly reduced third floret rarely present; lemma firmer in texture than glumes, chartaceous to cartilaginous, oblong, dorsally convex, variously hairy, 7-9-nerved, incised, 2-lobed, lobes with bristles or awns; awns not geniculate, central awn from between lobes very long, glabrous, scabrid, geniculate, twisted in lower part; callus elongated, slender, longer than lemma body, hairy; palea glabrous, narrowly lanceolate, apex bifid, 2-keeled, nerves prominent. Lodicules 2, glabrous or sparsely to densely ciliolate. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous, with apical pseudostigmata; styles short or 0, plumose. Caryopsis surface reticulately sculptured. x = 6.
Species 4, sthn Afr., mountainous areas of Western Cape.