Perennial, rarely annual in desert areas, tufted, rhizomatous. Leaf blade long-linear, expanded or folded; ligule a fringe of long hairs. Inflorescence a compact, cylindric, spike-like panicle, usually oblong in outline, central axis terete; spikelets solitary, pedicelled, pedicels remaining after spikelets have fallen. Spikelet 4-6 mm long, strongly laterally compressed, disarticulating with glumes; glumes +/- equal, longer than spikelet, similar, membranous, lanceolate, 1-nerved, sparsely to densely hairy on keels, shortly awned or mucronate. Florets 2-4; lowest floret bisexual; remaining florets male, sterile or reduced; lower lemma lanceolate or linear-oblong, similar to firmer in texture to glumes, membranous, glabrous or hairy, (3)-5-7-nerved, keeled, entire, apex rounded or acuminate, shortly awned or mucronate; uppermost lemma smaller; palea slightly shorter than lemma, ovate-lanceolate, membranous. Lodicules 2, cuneate. Stamens 3. Ovary slightly constricted below apex, glabrous; styles distinct, finely plumose. Caryopsis ellipsoid. x= 10 (polyploidy).
Species 2, Afghanistan, Arabian Peninsula, sthn Afr.; 2 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