Description: Annual, tufted to decumbent.
Leaf blade rolled in bud, narrow. Ligule a very narrow ciliate membrane.
Inflorescence a panicle of numerous small spike-like branches which beome deflexed at maturity. Lower spikelets often replaced by small deciduous branchlets. Spikelets laterally compressed, 2-flowered or more, with 1 fertile floret or with 2 or more fertile florets, solitary, sessile; with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets cuneate, adaxial (with lower glume against rachis), disarticulating above glumes. Glumes 2, more or less equal in length, exceeding the florets, pointed, awned, keeled, leathery or membranous, the lower often very asymmetrical, 1–2-nerved.
Lemmas pointed to incised, 3-nerved, hairy (usually, pilose on the nerves) or glabrous. Palea 2-nerved. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Grain small, ellipsoid, shallowly concave on the hilar side, trigonous. Hilum short. Embryo large, with one scutellum bundle.
Distribution and occurrence: A genus of c. 20 species from Africa and Asia and Australia. Australia c. 14 species; NSW 6 species (1 naturalised).
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3: 320–322 (2005). Ausgrass 2 (2012) D.Sharp & B.K.Simon.