Description from Flora of China
Heleochloa Host ex Roemer.
Annuals, low growing. Culms ascending or prostrate, much branched. Leaf blades short, linear to lanceolate, flat or involute; ligule a line of hairs. Inflorescence a very dense panicle, spicate and cylindrical, or ovoid to capitate and then usually subtended by 1 or 2 inflated spathelike leaf sheaths with a reduced blade. Spikelets with 1 floret, strongly laterally compressed, disarticulating below the floret or rarely falling entire; glumes narrow, slightly shorter than lemmas, unequal to subequal, membranous, 1-veined, scabrid or ciliate along keel, acute or with a short awn-point; lemma lanceolate, membranous, 1-veined, awnless; palea similar to lemma, 1–2-veined, splitting at maturity. Lodicules absent. Stamens 2–3. Grain ellipsoid, pericarp free and sometimes swelling when wet.
Crypsis species occur mainly on periodically wet, often saline soils in semi-arid areas.
Nine to twelve species:centered on the Mediterranean region and SW Asia, but extending to C Africa and from Europe to China; introduced elsewhere; two species in China.
(Authors: Lu Shenglian (卢生莲); Sylvia M. Phillips)