Clums solid, erect, ascending, usually decumbent, or scrambling, Inflorescence of 2 to several, slender, spike-like racemes digitately to subdigitately arranged; racemes with slender, many-noded, articulate rachis. Spikelets in alternate, typically dimorphic pairs, one of a pair pedicelled, the other sessile; spikelets dorsiventrally arranged. Pedicelled spikelets neuter, mostly reduced to stipe, sometimes even the stipe absent. Sessile spikelets narrow, laterally compressed, shortly white-hairy at base; glumes as long as spikelet, or one slightly shorter than the other; lower glume acute or shortly 2-toothed, mostly rather firm, sometimes thinly herbaceous, granulate; upper glume acute, usually with a firm central part and membranous margins, but sometimes completely thin herbaceous; lower lemma shorter than lower glume, membranous, nerveless or 1-nerved; lower palea absent; upper lemma hyaline, strongly convex, sub-entire, with slender, geniculate awn from near the base, the column glabrous and the terminal part finely short-hairy; upper palea sometimes present, small, hyaline, nerveless; lodacules 2; stamens 2-3, free; stigmas feather-like. Caryopsis oblong, free.
About 20 species distributed in tropical Africa, Madagascar, Martitius, Indo-Malaya, China to Japan.
Three species, mainly found on forest margins, are recorded from Taiwan.