Small, soft annuals or perennials. Stem scapose. Leaves with or without ligule, upper, "cauline", leaves short or, sometimes, present as bladeless sheaths only. Bracts short or overtopping inflorescence. Inflorescence a multiple spike or anthelodium, of several to more than 50 spikes, primary branches each with basal tubular prophyll. Spikes solitary or geminate, seldom three together on a common peduncle; glumes spirally arranged, from several to 40 or more; rachis articulate, usually with scarious wings. Perianth bristles 0; stamens 1 - 3, seldom 0; stigmas 2 or 3; stylopodium articulating from nut, caducous. Nut lenticular or globose.
Resembling Abildgaardia, but inflorescences with many more spikes; also resembling Bulbostylis, but mouth margin of sheaths not ciliate.