Description from Flora of China
Perennial or annual. Leaf blades linear; ligule short, membranous. Inflorescence terminal, composed of 1 or 2(–6) digitate racemes; racemes with large imbricate persistent sessile spikelets covering smaller pedicelled deciduous spikelets; rachis internodes tough, short, or almost absent and then inflorescence capitate and sessile spikelets forming an involucre, the lower sometimes lacking a pedicelled spikelet. Sessile spikelet male or barren, dorsally compressed, florets usually 2; lower glume lanceolate to oblong, leathery or papery, broadly convex, 7–9-veined, apex truncate or denticulate or retuse; upper glume longer and narrower than lower glume, membranous, 3-veined, apex truncate; upper lemma awnless or rarely mucronate. Pedicelled spikelet fertile, subterete, floret 1(–2); callus pungent, obliquely attached to pedicel; lower glume apex truncate; lower floret usually suppressed; upper lemma entire, stipitiform, awned; awn geniculate, pubescent. Lodicules absent. Stamens 2.
Nine species: NE India to SE Asia and Australia; one species in China.
(Authors: Chen Shouliang (陈守良); Sylvia M. Phillips)