Annuals, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly closed, Leaf sheath hairy, hispid or prickly, Leaf sheath and blade diff erentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence a contracted panicle, narrowly paniculate, branches appressed or ascending, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence with 2-10 branches, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet 3-10 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets with 8-40 florets, Spikelets paired at rachis nodes, Spikelets 3 per node, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glu mes 2 clearly present, Glumes distinctly unequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma 8-15 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex dentate, 2-fid, Lemma distinctly awned, more than 2-3 mm, Lemma with 1 awn, Lemma awn 1-2 cm long, Lemma awn subapical or dorsal, Lemma awns straight or curved to base, Lemma awn twisted, spirally coiled at base, like a corkscrew, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea shorter than lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear, Caryopsis hairy at apex.
Tufted annual; culms erect or geniculately ascending, up to 30 cm high. Leaf-blades up to 20 cm long, 2-4 mm wide; sheaths hirsute. Panicle up to 10 cm long, loose or dense. erect or nodding, the branches filiform, flexuous, bearing parallel clusters of spikelets, these usually all turned to one side. Spikelets narrowly wedge-shaped, fragile, 5-10-flowered, the upper 1-3 florets sometimes reduced, 35-70(-70) mm long including the awns, the lemmas overlapping at first but gaping and exposing the internodes at maturity; glumes with silvery-hyaline margins, the lower narrowly elliptic, 8-14 mm long, (l-)3-nerved, the upper narrowly lanceolate, 12-18 mm long, 5-nerved; lemmas linear-lanceolate in side view, the lowest 18-25 mm long, involute, herbaceous with silvery-hyaline margins, (5-)7-9-nerved, glabrous or pubescent, 2-toothed at the tip with a straight awn 15-45 mm long from between the teeth; palea shorter than the lemma, ciliate on the keels; anthers 0.6-1 mm long.