Diplachne P.Beauv.: 80 (1812); Stapf: 590 (1900); Stent: 296 (1924); Chippindall: 118 (1955); Launert: 67 (1970a); Phillips: 281 (1974); Phillips: 142 (1982); Gibbs Russell et al.: 116 (1990); Watson & Dallwitz: 338 (1994).
Annual or perennial, tufted, stoloniferous, rhizomatous, often geniculate. Leaf blade lanceolate to linear, expanded or rolled; ligule an unfringed or fringed membrane, rarely a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence a contracted or open panicle of several, slender, 1-sided, spike-like racemes scattered along a central axis; spikelets solitary, subsessile or shortly pedicelled. Spikelet 1.9-14.0 mm long, laterally or dorsiventrally to not noticeably compressed, disarticulating above glumes and between florets; glumes unequal to +/- equal, shorter to rarely longer than spikelet, similar, membranous, lanceolate to ovate, sometimes subacuminate or notched, 1-nerved, keeled to rounded on back, mucronate to awnless. Florets 1-20, bisexual; uppermost floret sterile or reduced, often decreasing in size upwards; lemma lanceolate or oblong-elliptic to elliptic, keeled to rounded or flattened on back, less firm to similar in texture as glumes, 3-nerved, glabrous or minutely hairy along nerves and/or back or margins, single median keel present on back to not keeled, obtuse or acute to +/- truncate or 2-lobed, awnless, mucronate or awned between lobes; awn shorter than body of lemma to minute, sometimes lateral nerves excurrent into short mucros; callus short, blunt; palea almost as long as lemma, sometimes 2-lobed, 2-keeled, flat dorsally or concave between keels, glabrous to minutely or distinctly hairy, subhyaline. Lodicules 2, cuneate, fleshy, glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, plumose. Caryopsis ellipsoid to ellipsoid-oblong, laterally to dorsally compressed. x = 10 (polyploidy).
Species +/- 30, tropical and subtropical regions; 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