Description from Flora of China
Osterdamia Necker ex Kuntze, nom. illeg. superfl.
Perennials, rhizomatous and/or stoloniferous, sward forming. Culms arising from nodes along stolons, often densely branched at ground level. Leaf blades conspicuously distichous, stiff, flat or involute; ligule short, ciliolate. Inflorescence a cylindrical, dense, spikelike raceme; spikelets appressed to axis, falling entire; pedicels persistent, flattened, sometimes widened upward. Spikelets laterally compressed, floret 1; lower glume usually absent; upper glume as long as spikelet, enclosing floret, laterally compressed, leathery, rounded on back, smooth, glossy, apex acute or midvein excurrent into mucro; lemma membranous, 1–3-veined, apex acute or emarginate; palea reduced or absent. Lodicules absent. Styles connate at base, stigmas apically exserted. Caryopsis ovoid. x = 9, 10.
The spikelets often consist of only two scales: a leathery, glossy glume (technically the upper glume) enclosing a much thinner lemma.
The species are good sand-binding and lawn grasses.
Nine species: tropical and subtropical coasts of the Indian Ocean, W Pacific, and Australasia; several species widely introduced elsewhere as tropical lawn grasses; five species in China.
(Authors: Chen Shouliang (陈守良); Sylvia M. Phillips)