Annual or perennial. Panicle contracted to spiciform. Spikelets lanceolate, the 2 lower florets represented by empty lemmas (rarely 1 or both male); glumes unequal, the upper usually exceeding and enclosing the florets, keeled; sterile lemmas longer than fetile, membranous, bilobed, the lower with a short straight awn from above middle, the upper geniculately awned from below middle; fertile lemma cartilaginous, the margins convolute and covering paelea, emarginate; palea 1-nerved, without keels; lodicules 0; stamens 2; stigmas pubescent, protoynous.
Species 18.Temperate Eurasia and Africa indluding the tropical mountains, and in central America; introduced to other temperate regions.
Meadows and dry grassland.
Schouten, Y. and Veldkamp, J. F. 1985. A revision of Anthoxanthum including Hierochloe (Gramineae) in Malesia and Thailand. Blumea 30 (2): 319-351.