Description: Usually short slender annuals or perennials.
Leaves with blade lanceolate or lanceolate to ovate, cordate and stem-clasping at the base.
Inflorescence a subdigitate arrangement of racemes; racemes spike-like, slender; rachis fragile.
Spikelets solitary and sessile [or paired, the pedicellate spikelet often much reduced], bisexual, ± laterally compressed, sometimes accompanied by a short pedicel; florets 2, the lower reduced to a lemma, the upper bisexual, falling with the pedicel and axis joint. Glumes equal, the lower covered with spines, usually papery to leathery, faintly many-nerved and scabrid to coarsely muricate; upper glume compressed, thinner than the lower, nerveless. Lemmas 2, hyaline, membranous, the lower 2-nerved or nerveless, the upper 1-nerved with a long sub-basal awn. Palea 1, sometimes absent. Stamens 2 or 3.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, tropical regions. Australia: 2 species (native), Qld, N.S.W.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & C. A. Wall
|One species in NSW: Arthraxon hispidus|