Desv. ex P.Beauv.
Annual or perennial, (sometimes short-lived), densely tufted or rarely decumbent, sometimes rhizomatous. Leaf blade expanded or rolled, sometimes setaceous, hairs, when present, usually gland-tipped; sheaths in a few species sometimes enclosing cleistogenes; ligule a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence a panicle, usually contracted, often dense and spike-like, rarely open, feathery; spikelets subsessile or shortly pedicelled. Spikelet variably compressed, disarticulating above glumes; glumes unequal or +/- equal, usually +/- equal to spikelet, lanceolate, similar, membranous, 3-7-nerved, sometimes ciliate on nerves, frequently pilose, awnless. Florets 3-5; lower florets 1-3, bisexual; upper floret sterile or rudimentary, often reduced to a tuft of minute awns; lemma firmer than glumes, firm or leathery, not keeled, 9-lobed, scabrid or plumose below lobes, prominently 9-nerved, nerves excurrent into awns from tips of lobes; awns straight, glabrous, scabrous or hairy (plumose); callus short; palea linear or lanceolate, longer than lemma, sometimes ciliate on keels, hyaline. Lodicules 2, minute, fleshy, membranous. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, plumose. x= 9, 10 (polyploidy).
Species +/- 30, warm, dry regions of the world, especially Australia and Africa; +/- 7 in sthn Afr., widespread.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith