Annual or perennial, tufted, sometimes rhizomatous. Leaf blade linear, expanded or rolled; ligule a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence of many 1-sided, spike-like racemes on a long central axis; racemes solitary or whorled, sometimes stiff, spreading, straight or curved like a herringbone; spikelets solitary, shortly pedicelled. Spikelet 3-10 mm long, laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes and variously between florets; glumes very unequal, similar, shorter than spikelet, coriaceous, acute or acuminate, keeled, 1-nerved, awnless; lower glume +/- half as long as upper. Florets 4-11, bisexual, sometimes uppermost reduced, decreasing in size upwards; lemma similar in texture to glumes, membranous, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 3-nerved, glabrous, entire, acute, acuminate or minutely awned; callus 0; palea shorter than lemmas, acute, 2-keeled, similar in texture to lemma. Lodicules 2, minute, delicate, glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, plumose. Caryopsis ellipsoid to fusiform. x= 10 (7) (polyploidy).
Species 4, Africa; 3 in sthn Afr., widespread, not recorded from Western 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