Annual or perennial, tufted. Leaf blade linear, usually expanded, pointed; ligule an unfringed membrane, truncate. Inflorescence open or contracted, composed of a number of racemes scattered along a central axis; racemes often stiff and straight, sometimes spreading; spikelets solitary, subsessile, biseriate, overlapping or distant. Spikelet 3-14 mm long, laterally compressed, wedge-shaped, disarticulating above glumes and between florets; glumes +/- equal, equal to longer than spikelet, similar, membranous, very narrow, 1-nerved, tapering to a mucro or awn; lower glume longer than lowest lemma. Florets 3-many, lower floret bisexual; upper floret reduced; lemma similar in texture to glumes, membranous, rounded on back, 3-nerved, hairy, conspicuously ciliate along lateral nerves, incised, bluntly 2-lobed, awned from sinus; awn fine, bristle-like, shorter than body of lemma, straight; palea +/- equalling lemma, often pilose between keels. Lodicules 2, fleshy, glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary obovoid, glabrous; styles distinct, plumose above. Caryopsis narrow, dorsally flattened. x= 10.
Species 7, Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Texas, United States of America; +/- 2 in sthn Afr., widespread, not in Western Cape.