Description: Perennials or annuals.
Leaves with ligule membranous, ciliate or ciliolate, short or reduced to a rim; blade rolled in bud.
Inflorescence a digitate or subdigitate arrangement of racemes. Racemes simple or branched; rachis 3-angled.
Spikelets usually short-awned, dorsally compressed, paired or clustered, ± on 1 side of the rachis. Florets 2, dissimilar. Glumes unequal, the lower smaller, 1–5-nerved, often mucronulate, abaxial; upper glume subequal to the spikelet, 5-nerved, densely ciliate along the marginal nerves. Lower floret male; lemma resembling the upper glume but not ciliate, its palea short, deeply 2-lobed with conspicuously auricled flaps. Upper floret bisexual; lemma papery, 5-nerved, produced into a straight awn or mucro; palea subequal to the lemma, 2-keeled with broadly auricled flaps. Lodicules 2, broad-cuneate. Stamens 3.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 6 species, tropical regions. Australia: 2 species (native), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & C. A. Wall