Annual; culms 5-40 (-60) cm high, tufted or solitary, erect or geniculately ascending. Leaf-blades up to 8 cm long, 1.5-4 mm wide, glabrous or puberulous. Spike oblong to ovate, (1-) 1.5-5 cm long, tapering towards the tip, green or purplish; rhachis shortly ciliate on the margins, fragile. Central spikelet sessile; glumes setaceous, long-awned, up to 26 mm long including the awn, scabrid, lemma narrowly ovate, 6-8 mm long, smooth; awn up to 24 mm long; anthers 1.3-1.5 mm long. Lateral spikelets barren, pedicellate; glumes subulate or slightly swollen below, long-awned, up to 26 mm long including the awns; lemma 3-5 mm long with an awn 3-5 mm long.