Description: Tufted annuals or perennials; culms erect or spreading, smooth.
Leaves with sheath rounded on the back, smooth; ligule blunt, membranous; blade narrow, flat.
Inflorescence a dense spike-like panicle, 1-sided with short branches. Spikelets dimorphic, the fertile sessile the sterile shortly pedicellate; sterile spikelets consisting of 2 glumes and several narrow, 1-nerved lemmas; fertile spikelets of 1–6 mostly bisexual florets; rachilla readily disarticulating above the glumes. Glumes subequal, 1-nerved with the nerve extending into a short awn. Lemmas rounded on the back, oblong to lanceolate, 5-nerved, mucronate or subapically awned. Palea subequal to the lemma, 2-keeled, 2-toothed.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 5 spp., temp. Eur. & Asia. Aust.: 2 spp. (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.
Key from Wheeler et al (1990).
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Panicle narrow-oblong, less than 10 mm wide with inconspicuous awns; lemmas 3–4 mm long; tufted perennial||Cynosurus cristatus|
|Panicle ovate-oblong, more than 10 mm wide with conspicuous awns; lemmas 5–7 mm long; tufted annual||Cynosurus echinatus|