Perennials; plants with creeping rhizomes or partly stoloniferous. Leaf-blade narrow. Inflorescence a terminal, small, spike-like raceme. Spikelets placed on all sides of rachis, falling off entirely from the pedicel, laterally compressed, 1-flowered, bisexual; lower glume absent or small, thinly membranous and nerveless; upper glume as long as spikelet, coriaceous, conduplicate, margins contiguous, the midnerves prominent, excurrent into short awn or not; lemma smaller and hidden inside of the upper glume, conduplicate, hyaline, 1-nerved; palea present or not; lodicules wanting; stamens 3; styles 2, long, connate at base, the stigmas apica exserted. Caryopsis oblong, free, the hilum punctiform.
About ten species distributed in Mascarene Islands, India, China, Japan too New Zealand.
Four species are found in Taiwan and these mostly grow on littoral regions.