Imperata Cyr., Pl. Rar. Neap. 2: 26. 1792. Boiss., Fl. Or. 5: 542. 1884; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 7:106. 1896; Blatter & McCann, Bombay Grasses 41. 1935; Bor, Fl. Assam 5:309. 1940; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 1:70. 1958; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 169. 1960; Bor in Towns., Guest & Al-Rawi, Fl. Iraq 9: 532. 1968; Bor in Rech. f., H. Iran. 70:513. 1970; Tzvelev, Poaceae URSS 691. 1976; Clayton in Tutin et al., Fl. Eur. 5:264. 1980.
Rhizomatous perennials with erect, few-noded culms. Leaves mostly basal, the blades narrow and erect; ligule scarious. Inflorescence a narrow, often spiciform panicle, its numerous primary branches bearing very short secondary racemes; raceme rhachis not fracturing at maturity, bearing paired similar spikelets each supported on a slender pedicel. Spikelets lanceolate to oblong, ± terete, enveloped in long silky hairs from callus and glumes; callus very short, truncate; glumes equal, as long as the spikelet, lanceolate to oblong, membranous; lower floret reduced to a lemma, this lanceolate to oblong, shorter than the spikelet, hyaline; upper floret bisexual; lemma lanceolate to oblong, shorter than the spikelet, hyaline, awnless; palea broad, hyaline, enfolding the flower; stamens 1-2, caryopsis ellipsoid.
A genus of about 8 species, occurring throughout the tropics and extending to warm temperate regions; 1 species occurs in Pakistan.