Rhynchelytrum Nees: 446 (1936); Chippindall: 428 (1955); Clayton & Renvoize: 295 (1986); Watson & Dallwitz: 822 (1994).
Annual or perennial, tufted. Leaf blade expanded, rarely rolled, usually linear-lanceolate, blades and sheaths pilose with bulbous-based hairs or glabrous; ligule a fringed membrane or a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence a panicle, contracted and narrow or open and spreading; spikelets pedicelled, pedicels capillary. Spikelet symmetrical or asymmetrical in profile; laterally or dorsiventrally compressed or not noticeably compressed, glabrous to densely hairy; glumes unequal, dissimilar, awnless or awned; lower glume reduced to a minute scale or rim or absent, sometimes distant from upper glume, nerveless to 1-nerved; upper glume as long as spikelet, sometimes gibbous, emarginated to 2-lobed at apex, often awned from between lobes, sometimes tapering to a beak above, finely or prominently 5-9-nerved. Florets 2; lower floret male or sterile; lemma resembling upper glume but narrower, often hairy, 3-7-nerved, awnless or usually awned; palea present or 0, when present scaberulous or ciliate on margins; upper floret bisexual; lemma less firm to similar in texture as glumes, smaller than lower lemma, often deciduous before rest of spikelet, smooth, glabrous, margins flat and +/- covering palea; palea similar to upper lemma. Lodicules 3, very delicate. Stamens 3. Ovary ellipsoid, glabrous; style free, plumose. Caryopsis oblong to oblong-ellipsoid. x= 9 (polyploidy).
Species 20, mainly Africa, also on other continents but possibly introduced there; 10 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