Eriochloa Kunth in Humb. & Bonpl., Nov. Gen. Sp. 1:94, t.30, 31. 1816. Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 7:20. 1896; Blatter & McCann, Bombay Grasses 131. 1935; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 1:21. 1958; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 312. 1960; Bor in Towns., Guest & Al-Rawi, Fl. Iraq 9:494. 1968; Bor in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 70:492. 1970; Clayton in Kew Bull. 30: 107. 1975; Tzvelev, Poaceae URSS 665. 1976; Clayton in Tutin et al., Fl. Fur. 5:262. 1980.
Annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades flat, linear, tapering to a fine point; ligule represented by a line of hairs. Inflorescence composed of racemes arranged along a central axis, the racemes usually numerous and ascending or appressed to the axis; rhachis narrow, bearing the spikelets singly, in pairs or on short side branchlets, the lower glume adaxial. Spikelets usually lanceolate, dorsally compressed, acute to aristate, supported upon a bead-like swelling formed from the lowest rhachilla internode and adherent vestigial lower glume (rarely the latter developed); upper glume as long as the spikelet; lower floret male or barren, the lemma resembling the upper glume but a little shorter; upper lemma crustaceous, finely muricate, clasping only the edges of the palea, obtuse and mucronate. Caryopsis oblong-elliptic, dorsally compressed, obtuse.
A genus of about 30 species throughout the tropics; 2 species occur in Pakis¬tan, one of them introduced.
Eriochloa is apparently related to Brachiaria, several of whose species have the lower glume prolonged downwards into a short stipe.