Perennials; culms erect or ascending. Leaves strikingly distichous; sheaths laterally compressed; ligule very short; blade with a distinct pseudo-petiole, with abaxial side upwards, usually lanceolate, pinnate-nerved, with numerous dstinc transverse nerved. Inflorescence umbel-like or paniculate, with branches borne on all sides. Spikelets unisexual, 1-flowered, the ultimate branchlets with a small staminate spikelet at top, with 1 or more larger pistillate spikelets below. Staminate spiklets: glumes thingly membranous; lemma larger, conduplicate with free margins, 5-9-nerved; palea entire or shortly bidentate, 2-nerved; lodicules wanting; stamens 6, erect, the filaments short, the anthers linear, only the tips protruding. Rudiment of pistil obsolete or minute; spikelets soon deciduous. Pistillate spikelets: glumes thingly membranous; lemma much larger and firmer, usually pear-like, inflated, the margins connate, leaving a small, terminal or lateral pore, 5-9-nerved, with short hooked hairs all over, enlarged and usually indurated at maturity; palea narrow, free or adnate to the margins of lemma, grooved the whole length on hilum-side.
Species 5. Old world tropics. Forest shade. Only one species, L. formosana in Taiwan.