Annuals or perennials; culms solid, erect or ascending, sometimes creeping. Ligule short, glabrous
or ciliate; blades linear, narrow or wide, flat conduplicate or inrolled, with scabrid margins. Inflorescence
a spike-like panicle, composed of spiculate units, arranged on all sides of an elongated central
axis, rarely consisting of 2-4-spikelets and remaining partly or totally encloseed in upper-most leaf;
units consisting of 1-4-spikelets inside an involucre, consisting of bristles, unites sessile or stipitate, falling
off as a whole; bristles free, unequal, scabrid or feathery. Spikelets terete, ovate-lanceolate, 2-flowered;
glumes and lemma thin and hyaline, glabrous or hairy; lower glume small, 0-3-veined; upper
glume larger, 1-3-veined; upper palea 2-veined, thin or 0; lower lemma slightly shorter than spikelet, or
sometimes as long, with broadly incurved margins, 3-8-veined; lower palea present or 0; upper lemma
reaching apex of spikelet, with broaldy incurved margins, 4-7-veined; upper palea 2-veined, thin or less
thin; lodicules absent; stamens 3, anthers linear with glabrous or penicillate tip, styles connate, stigma
long, exserted apically, straight; flower protogynous. Caryopsis free, enclosed inside indurate or nonindurated
upper lemma and upper palea, dorsally compressed, elliptic, pear shaped or obovate; hilum
punctiform, embryo large.
About 80 species throughou the tropics. Four species in Taiwan.