Perennial, erect and rigid or creeping and rooting at nodes, stoloniferous. Leaf blade linear, expanded or rolled, rigid; ligule an unfringed membrane. Inflorescence a single true spike; spikelets solitary, sessile to subsessile, appressed to rachis, rachis disarticulating and spikelets falling with internode below. Spikelet (15)28-40 mm long, laterally compressed, falling with glumes; glumes +/- equal, shorter than spikelet, similar, many-nerved, awnless. Florets 5-11, bisexual, uppermost floret reduced; lemma similar in texture to glumes, glabrous, 5-nerved, usually 3-toothed, awned, awn minute, straight; palea present, keels winged. Lodicules 2, membranous, ciliate. Stamens 3. Ovary hairy. x= 7 (polyploidy).
Species +/- 5, coasts of Europe; 1 in sthn Afr.: Thinopyrum distichum (Thunb.) A.Love, Western and Eastern Cape.
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