Tufted perennial. Culms 10-50 (-100) cm high, erect. Leaf-blades 1-12 (-30) cm long, 1.5-5(-9) mm wide, glabrous to sparsely hairy, finely pointed at the tip; ligule 1-5 mm long. Panicle very dense to somewhat loose, ovate to narrowly oblong, 1-9 (-12) cm long, 6-15 mm wide, green or purplish. Spikelets lanceolate, the upper awn protruding; glumes thinly membranous, loosely to sparingly hairy; lower glume ovate, 3-5 mm long, 1-nerved, mucronate; upper glume ovate to elliptic, 6-10 mm long, 3-nerved, mucronate; sterile lemmas 3-3.5 mm long, obscurely bibbed, the awn of the upper 6-9 mm long; fertile lemma 2 mm long; anthers 3-4.5 mm long.