Tufted or rhizomatous annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades linear or lanceolate, usually flat; ligule short, membranous. Inflorescence open, composed of several to numerous slender secund racemes scattered along a central axis. Spikelets 1-severalflowered, laterally compressed, usually overlapping, biseriate, disarticulating between the florets; glumes 1-nerved, membranous, keeled, usually shorter than the lemmas, subequal to unequal, persistent; lemmas 3-nerved, membranous, keeled, minutely hairy along the nerves and sometimes also on the back, acute or obtuse, entire or emarginate, awnless. Caryopses various.