Description from Flora of China
Aegilops subg. Gastropyrum Jaubert & Spach; Gastropyrum (Jaubert & Spach) A. Löve; Patropyrum A. Löve.
Plants annual. Culms usually erect. Leaf sheath split almost to base; auricles cresent-shaped; leaf blade usually flat. Spike cylindric, lanceolate, or ovoid, dense; rachis disarticulating below each spikelet into segments. Spikelets 1 per node, sessile and fitting into rachis, cylindric or turgid, with 2–8 florets; rachilla not jointed, shortly pilose. Glumes rounded abaxially, leathery or cartilaginous, many veined, not keeled, apex truncate or toothed; teeth usually prolonged into longish awns. Lemma oblong or lanceolate, rounded abaxially, leathery-membranous to leathery, 5–7-veined, not keeled, apex usually 1–3-toothed or -awned; callus very short, obtuse. Palea equaling or subequaling lemma, ciliate along keels. Caryopsis free or adherent to lemma and palea, oblong-ovate, furrowed, apex hairy. x = 7.
In addition, the following mainly Mediterranean species have been recorded as cultivated in China (FRPS 9(3): 39–43. 1987): Aegilops biuncialis Visiani, A. cylindrica Host, Aegilops ovata Linnaeus, A. triaristata Willdenow, A. triuncialis Linnaeus, A. umbellulata Zhukovsky, and A. ventricosa Tausch. It is not clear in which sense the ambiguous name A. ovata was used: that of A. geniculata Roth, which has been its traditional application, or that of A. neglecta Requien ex Bertoloni, where its lectotype illustration is said to belong.
About 21 species: mainly in the Mediterranean region, extending into N Africa and eastward to C Asia; one species in China.