Perennial, densely tufted, rhizomatous. Culms flattened. Leaf blade stiff, linear, expanded, folded or rolled, strongly keeled; ligule a minute, fringed membrane. Inflorescence a solitary (rarely 2), 1-sided spike; rachis pubescent or woolly; spikelets solitary, sessile, arranged in 2 rows on abaxial face of rachis. Spikelet laterally compressed, darkly pigmented, disarticulating above glumes, not between florets; glumes unequal, dissimilar, membranous or subcoriaceous, awnless; lower glume less than half as long as upper glume, 1-keeled, 1-nerved; upper glume +/- as long as spikelet, boat-shaped, somewhat falcate, 3-nerved, 2-keeled, scabrid on keels. Florets 2-4; lowest floret bisexual; second and third male, fourth floret, if present, sterile; lemmas dissimilar, decreasing in size upwards, 3-nerved, awnless, lowestlemma sharply folded along keel, membranous, elliptic or elliptic-oblong, obtuse, long-hairy on nerves and margins, upper lemma obovate or spathulate, rounded or almost truncate above, with 2 marginal nerves, glabrous; palea equalling or slightly longer than lemma, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, hairy near tip. Lodicules cuneate, fleshy, narrowly 2-winged. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, plumose. Caryopsis ellipsoid, trigonous. x= 10 (polyploidy).
Species +/- 2; 1 in sthn Afr.: Harpochloa falx (L.f.) Kuntze, northern provinces of South Africa, Swaziland, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Western and Eastern Cape.

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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