Annual or perennial (sometimes short-lived), tufted, stoloniferous, mat-forming. Leaf blade linear, margins usually thickened; ligule a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence of spike-like main branches widely scattered or closely arranged along central axis; spikelets shortly pedicelled. Spikelet 2-5 mm long, dorsiventrally compressed, disarticulating above glumes, distinct elongated internode between and above glumes, rounded on back; glumes very unequal, slightly longer than spikelet, membranous, obtuse to acute, glabrous or long-ciliate on nerves, awnless; lower glume nerveless; upper glume 1-nerved. Floret 1, bisexual; lemma less firm to similar in texture to glumes, thinly membranous, broadly rounded, entire, acute to obtuse, 3-nerved, hairy, awned; awn minute, straight; callus pungent; palea glabrous or silky-hairy. Lodicules 2, fleshy, glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous. Caryopsis ellipsoid.
Species 4, southern tropical Africa and Texas, United States of America; 3 in sthn Afr., mainly N Namibia and Botswana.