Description from Flora of China
Plants perennial, densely tufted, or laxly tufted with underground rhizomes. Culms usually erect. Leaf blade flat or rolled. Spike linear, oblong, or ovate; rachis fragile, readily disarticulating between spikelets. Spikelets in groups of 2 or 3, sessile, compressed, with 1 or 2(or 3) florets, usually with rudimentary florets. Glumes subulate-setiform, awnlike, inconspicuously 1-veined, not keeled, margin entire. Lemma lanceolate, broadly rounded abaxially, not keeled, 5–7-veined, apex acuminate to awned. Palea equaling or slightly longer than lemma, 2-keeled. Caryopsis tightly enclosed in lemma and palea at maturity, oblong, apex hairy. x = 7.
All species of this genus are good fodder plants.
Nine species: steppes and semidesert regions from W Russia and Turkey eastward to Afghanistan and Siberia; cultivated in North America; five species (two endemic) in China.