Perennial, densely tufted, rhizomatous. Leaf blade rolling early, glabrous except at sheath-mouth; ligule a dense fringe of hairs. Inflorescence of few to many dense, secund spikes mostly scattered on a central axis, usually appressed to axis. Spikelet laterally compressed, falling with glumes, not disarticulating between florets; glumes +/- equal, shorter than spikelet, glabrous, keels winged, 1-nerved, awnless. Florets 5 or 6, lowest 2 florets reduced to lemmas; uppermost floret reduced; the rest bisexual; sterile lemma similar to glumes; bisexuallemma 5-nerved, entire, keeled, hairy on keel, slightly winged, awnless; palea equalling or subequalling lemma, 2-keeled, keels winged. Lodicules 2, small, cuneate, glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, plumose above. x = 10.
Species 1, sthn Afr. and Pakistan; Tetrachne dregei Nees, Free State, Lesotho and mountains of Eastern Cape.