Perennial or annual, tufted, sometimes geniculate. Leaf blade narrowly linear; ligule reduced to a short, fringed membrane. Inflorescence of solitary, paired or digitate, slender, 1-sided spikes; spikelets solitary, sessile. Spikelet strongly laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes; glumes very unequal, longer than spikelet, similar, membranous, 1-nerved, keeled, acute, mucronate or shortly awned. Florets 1 or 2; 1 bisexual; uppermost floret vestigial but awned; lowest lemma firmer than glumes, chartaceous or cartilaginous, shorter than glumes, ovate-elliptic, keeled, 3-nerved, hairy on nerves, incised, minutely 2-lobed, awned from between lobes; awn long, flexuous, entangled with awns of other spikelets in inflorescence; callus hairy; palea 2-nerved, 2-keeled. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous; styles 2, plumose. Caryopsis (achene) narrowly ellipsoid, laterally compressed; pericarp free.
Species 2, Africa, Madagascar and India; 1 in sthn Afr.: Schoenefeldia transiens (Pilg.) Chiov., Mpumalanga.
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