Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous or stoloniferous, annual or perennial. Culms erect or
ascending or geniculate, nodes glabrous; internodes hollow, terete. Leaves cauline, not distinctly distichous;
sheaths terete, margins open; auricles absent; ligules membranous; blades flat, lax.
Panicles contracted, primary branches ascending (secondary branches appressed). Spikelets
solitary, laterally compressed; disarticulation below glumes, awned, pedicellate; florets 1, reduced
floret absent, callus glabrous; rachilla not extending above floret; glumes 2, both 1-veined, equal,
longer than first floret, glabrous, awned (from entire or bifid apex); lemmas 5-veined,
hyaline to membranous, glabrous, apex entire or bifid; awned or awnless, dorsal or from between lobes of bifid
apex, awn glabrous; veins glabrous; paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous. Stamens 3; anthers pale yellow to tan.
Caryopses adhering to lemma and palea, fusiform. Base chromosome number x=7.
A genus of about 18 species adapted to temperate regions. Our introduced species were native to Europe
and/or Asia. Adapted to moist soils along streams, in meadows, and in marshes.