Annual or perennial, erect or trailing; culm often wiry. Leaf blade linear-lanceolate, expanded, crinkled on one margin, reflexed; ligule a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence a panicle, usually fairly dense, pedicels commonly setose; spikelets solitary or in pairs. Spikelet brown, laterally to not noticeably compressed, disarticulating above glumes and between florets; glumes unequal, similar, narrowly ovate, membranous, +/- persistent, 3-nerved; lower glume half as long as spikelet; upper glume as long as spikelet. Florets 2; lower floret male or sterile; lemma 3-nerved, not keeled, awnless; upper floret bisexual; lemma similar to firmer in texture than glumes, membranous to thinly coriaceous, 5-7-nerved, incised, 2-lobed, lobes finely awned, hairy, a conspicuous tuft of white hairs below each lobe, awned from sinus between lobes; awn geniculate, longer than body of lemma; callus short, semicircular, hairy; palea finely nerved, 2-keeled, keels not winged. Lodicules 2, narrowly cuneate. Stamens 2. Ovary glabrous; styles free, plumose above. Caryopsis lanceolate, longitudinally grooved, glabrous. x = 12.
Species 5, Africa and Madagascar; 1 in sthn Afr.: Trichopteryx dregeana Nees, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal to Eastern Cape.