Annuals or perennials. Leaves with 2 auricles at the base of the lamina. Inflorescence with spikelets borne alternately, edgeways on and partially sunk in the rhachis, on opposite sides of the axis of a solitary raceme. Spikelets of many florets. Lower glume 0 in all but the terminal spikelet, the upper glume abaxial; the terminal spikelet with 2 glumes. Glumes 5-9-nerved. Lemma 5-nerved, awned or not.