Annual or short-lived perennial, tufted. Leaf blade expanded, broadly lanceolate, cross veins present (more visible on lower surface), amplexicaul at base; ligule an unfringed membrane. Inflorescence an open panicle; spikelets solitary, pedicels long, slender. Spikelet laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes and between florets; glumes unequal, similar, shorter than spikelet, keeled, obtuse to broadly ovate, 3- or 4-nerved, middle nerve excurrent into a short awn or mucro. Florets many, all bisexual though smaller at apex; lemma similar in texture to glumes, chartaceous, glabrous, obscurely 5-7-nerved, apex shortly 2-lobed or emarginate, middle nerve running out into a short mucro between lobes; palea almost equalling lemma, 2-keeled, ciliolate on keels, membranous, inflexed margins very narrow. Stamens 2 or 3. Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, plumose. Caryopsis subglobose. x= 12 (polyploidy).
Species 1, tropical and sthn Afr.: Megastachya mucronata (Poir.) P.Beauv., N KwaZulu-Natal.

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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