Annuals or perennials. Ligule a ciliate rim. Inflorescence a panicle. Spikelets laterally flattened; lower glume small or 0; upper glume and lower lemma as long as spikelet, membranous to coriaceous, sometimes gibbous, emarginate to 2-lobed, sometimes awned; lower floret male or sterile; palea present or 0; upper lemma smaller than lower, often deciduous before the rest of the spikelet, laterally flattened; margin enfolding the palea. This genus is not at all an easy one to name. The spikelets are small, so that the details of the palea are not easy to see and the often densely hairy glumes and lemmas lead to difficulties in counting the veins and in seeing other small details.