Perennials; flowering culms ascending, branched from base; the vegetative culm long creeping. Leaves short, rather broad. Inflorescence a slender spike-like raceme. Spikelets placed on all sides of rachis, solitary or often more or less in groups, falling off entirely from a very short pedicel, narrow, 1-flowered, bisexual; glumes about equal, lanceolate, strongly convex, 1 nerved, with long slender awn; lemma much smaller; palea small; lodicules 2; stamens 3, the anthers small; styles very short, the stigmas poorly developed. Caryopsis narrow, much longer than lemma and palea, but shorter than glumes.
About 10 species distributed in tropical Africa, southern India, Ceylon, eastern Asia and extending to Australia.
Two species are found on the sand dunes of Taiwan.