Annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades flat or rolled; ligule a short membrane or a line of hairs. Inflorescence a single raceme, these terminal or sometimes axillary and gathered into a spatheate false panicle; racemes flexuous, dorsally flattened; internodes subclavate, not crateriform. Sessile spikelet lanceolate to narrowly ovate; callus often large, applied obliquely to the summit of the internode; lower glume subcoriaceous to herbaceous, broadly convex, smooth (or sometimes toothed on the keels), laterally 2–keeled, the keels ciliately fringed and often with an oil streak on the inner side, mostly cuspidate to a bifid tip; upper glume awnless; lower floret reduced to a hyaline lemma; upper lemma entire or awnless. Caryopsis ellipsoid, dorsally compressed. Pedicelled spikelet well developed, muticous or aristulate.