Annual or perennial, trailing or scrambling, prostrate, shade-loving; culms slender and weak, often with aerial roots from nodes. Leaf blade broadly linear to ovate, expanded, often minutely cross-veined; ligule a short, fringed membrane or a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence of several 1-sided, spike-like racemes usually scattered and distant on slender central axis, racemes sometimes reduced to fascicles, rachis narrow; spikelets abaxial, solitary, paired, subsessile or shortly pedicelled. Spikelet lanceolate to oblong, weakly laterally compressed to not noticeably or dorsiventrally compressed, falling with glumes; glumes +/- equal, similar, shorter than spikelet, membranous, elliptic, 3-5-nerved, sometimes hairy, lower or both glumes long-awned from apex; awn of lower glume always longer. Florets 2; lower floret male (rarely) or sterile; lemma acute or very shortly awned; palea usually 0; upper floret bisexual; lemma dorsally compressed, similar in texture to glumes, coriaceous, lanceolate to elliptic, entire, shortly apiculate or obtuse, glabrous, smooth, shining, margins inrolled and clasping palea, awnless; callus hairy; palea acute, relatively long, hyaline, 2-nerved. Lodicules 2, broadly cuneate, often very delicate. Stamens 3. Ovary ellipsoid, glabrous; styles distinct, plumose. Caryopsis oblong to ellipsoid. x= 9, 10, 11 (high polyploidy).
Species 5, tropics and subtropics; 3 in sthn Afr., Caprivi in Namibia, N Botswana, northern provinces of South Africa to Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal 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