Description from Flora of China
Ischnochloa J. D. Hooker.
Perennial or annual. Culms slender, creeping or rambling, usually much branched and rooting at lower nodes. Leaf blades broadly linear to lanceolate or elliptic, base narrow, apex acuminate to setaceous; ligule membranous, truncate, back pubescent. Inflorescence terminal, composed of 1 to many subdigitate racemes on a short axis; racemes elongate, sparsely hairy, usually fragile, sessile and pedicelled spikelets of a pair similar, rarely both spikelets unequally pedicelled; rachis internodes filiform to clavate or inflated; pedicels resembling internodes but shorter. Sessile spikelet lanceolate, dorsally compressed; callus shortly bearded; glumes herbaceous to cartilaginous; lower glume deeply grooved on back or with a broad median channel, margins inflexed, 2-keeled at least toward apex; upper glume boat-shaped, acute to shortly awned; lower floret almost always sterile, reduced to a single scale or absent; upper floret bisexual, lemma linear to cordate, deeply 2-lobed, shortly 2-toothed, or rarely entire, usually awned; awn flexuous or geniculate. Stamens 2–3. Pedicelled spikelet resembling the sessile but slightly narrower and less concave, occasionally slightly smaller and staminate.
The name Microstegium glaberrimum (Honda) Koidzumi (Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 43: 394. 1929; Pollinia glaberrima Honda, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 39: 42. 1925), described from Taiwan, has been misapplied in recent literature to forms of M. ciliatum. The protologue describes a grass with only 2 or 3 short racemes of small (ca. 2 mm), awnless spikelets. The type has not been seen, and it has not proved possible to establish the identity of this taxon.
About 20 species: India to Japan and SE Asia, a few species in Africa; 13 species (three endemic) in China.
(Authors: Chen Shouliang (陈守良); Sylvia M. Phillips)