Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose, perennial. Culms erect or ascending; internodes solid, glabrous, terete;
nodes densely pubescent or bearded (glabrate with age). Leaves basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous;
sheaths terete, margins open; auricles absent; ligules membranous; blades flat or involute, linear, lax, apex
acuminate. Spicate racemes terminal (rarely a few inflorescences per culm), sheaths subtending
inflorescences not spathe-like; not aromatic; rachis hairy; pedicels not with a longitudinal groove, semi-terete.
Spikelets paired or ternate at each inflorescence node; dissimilar in size and shape, disarticulation at
base of long pediceled spikelet, laterally compressed or terete, sessile (or short pediceled) spikelets
staminate or neuter, pedicellate (or long pediceled) spikelets perfect. Sessile spikelets sterile;
dorsally flattened. Pedicellate spikelets perfect; first glumes 2-keeled, gland-like depressions or pits
not present; abaxial surface flat, smooth, chartaceous, glabrous, awnless; second glumes length equal to
first glumes; lower floret sterile; lemmas hyaline, entire, awnless; paleas absent; upper florets perfect;
lemmas (hairy) hyaline, entire, awned; awns apical and long plumose; paleas present or absent, reduced when
present and hyaline. Stamens 3; anthers golden yellow. Caryopses laterally compressed. Base chromosome number
A small genus of about 12 species found in the Africa and North and South America. The grasses are
usually from mesic, open habitats.