Annuals or perennials; culms tufted, slender. Leaf blades narrow, flat or rolled, often rigidly ciliate; ligule usually short and ciliate. Inflorescence a contracted or divaricate, all-side panicle. Spikelets small, terete before anthesis, unawned, usually 1-flowered, bisexual; rachilla articulate above glumes, rarely produced and then sometimes with a rudimentary lemma; glumes and lemma crowded, glume larger than lower glume, seldom of the same size; lemma as long as spikelet or slightly shorter, 1-nerved; palea resembling lemma, as long or shorter, with 2 close nerves, often split deeply between the nerves; stamens 2-3; ovary glabrous, the styles 2, free, short, the stigmas plumose, exserted laterally, the pericarp free detaching easily and soon disappearing. Seeds ovate.
About 150 species distributed in tropical and warm temperate region.
Three species are found in Taiwan mainly growing on the plains and salt marshes.
Baaijens, G.J. and J.F. Veldkamp. 1991. Sporobolus (Gramineae) in
Malesia. Blumea 35: 393--458