Description from Flora of China
Perennial, rarely annual. Culms stoloniferous or decumbent. Leaf blades linear or linear-lanceolate; ligule membranous, margin ciliate. Inflorescence a single cylindrical bilateral raceme; spikelets alternate, sessile, borne edgeways and sunken in hollows on opposite sides of articulated rachis, falling with adjacent rachis internode; rachis terminating in a spikelet. Spikelets dorsally compressed, florets 1 or 2, disarticulating above glumes and between florets, rachilla extension with apical rudimentary floret present; lower glume minute or suppressed; upper glume leathery, appressed to rachis, exceeding and covering the sunken florets, closely 5–12-veined, apex acute to caudately awned; lemma much shorter than upper glume, rounded on back, cartilaginous to hyaline, 3-veined, apex obtuse to acute; palea membranous, usually equal to lemma. Caryopsis ellipsoid, pericarp free. x = 9. Leaf anatomy: Kranz PS type, with short stout microhairs.
Lepturus has characteristic, sunken spikelets within a fragile rachis, unique in the tribe, but the leaf anatomy is typically chloridoid. Its precise affinities are uncertain, and it is sometimes placed in its own tribe, Leptureae.
Eight to fifteen species: shores of Indian and W Pacific Oceans; one species in China.
(Authors: Wu Zhenlan (吴珍兰); Sylvia M. Phillips)