Annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades flat, linear to narrowly lanceolate; ligule short, membranous. Inflorescence composed of racemes, these digitate or borne upon an elongated central axis, rarely solitary; rhachis flat, narrowly or broadly winged, bearing solitary or paired spikelets, their lower glume abaxial. Spikelets orbicular to oblong, mostly plano-convex; lower glume suppressed, rarely represented by a minute scale; upper glume membranous, as long as the spikelet, rarely shorter or absent; lower floret barren, without a palea, its lemma resembling the upper glume; upper lemma ± crustaceous, usually obtuse, clasping only the edges of the palea. Caryopsis plano-convex.