Description from Flora of China
Annuals or perennials. Culms tufted, sometimes stoloniferous, compressed. Leaf blades linear, flat or loosely folded; ligule membranous, often ciliolate. Inflorescence of paired or digitate spikelike racemes; racemes linear to narrowly oblong, spikelets sessile, biseriate, closely imbricate, the uppermost abortive, rachis terminating in a bare pointed extension. Spikelets elliptic to ovate, laterally compressed, florets several, disarticulating above glumes but not usually between florets; glumes shorter than lemmas, keeled, 1-veined; lower glume smaller, sharply acute; upper glume with a stout oblique awn from just below the broadly rounded emarginate tip; lemmas membranous, 3-veined, glabrous, strongly keeled, acute to shortly awned and often recurved at the apex; palea keels sometimes winged. Grain angular, ornamented, enclosed within a free hyaline pericarp which ruptures at maturity. x = 9, 10.
This genus can easily be recognized by its digitate, spikelike racemes, each terminating in a bare point.
Thirteen species: mainly from Africa to India, one species widespread; one species in China.
(Authors: Chen Shouliang (陈守良); Sylvia M. Phillips)