Sehima Forssk., Fl. Aegypt.-Arab. 178. 1775. Blatter & McCann, Bombay Grasses 19. 1935; Bor, Fl. Assam 5:429. 1940; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 1:133. 1958; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 217. 1960.
Annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades linear; ligule a line of hairs. Inflorescence a solitary raceme, terminal on the culm, exserted from the sheath; internodes and pedicels thickened, narrowly oblong-cylindrical, ciliate. Sessile spikelet usually laterally compressed, the callus obtuse and inserted into the concave tip of the internode; lower glume coriaceous, convex or concave and often medianly grooved on the back, without a mid-nerve, commonly 2-keeled, with a narrow membranous wing towards the apex, bidentate; upper glume boat-shaped, laterally compressed, with an apical bristle; lower floret male, with hyaline lemma and well-developed palea; upper lemma bidentate, passing between the teeth into an awn which is puberulous to ciliate along the coils; palea lanceolate, hyaline: caryopsis lanceolate-oblong concave on one side. Pedicelled spikelet male or barren, conspicuous, awnless.
A genus of 5 species in the Old World tropics; 2 species occur in Pakistan.
This is a difficult genus to key out, but may often be recognised by the distinctive, more or less lyriform venation of the lower glume.