Annuals or perennials with slender, often trailing culms. Leaf-blades broad, commonly lanceolate, cordate and amplexicaul at the base; ligule membranous. Inflorescence composed of slender subdigitate racemes, their internodes filiform to linear. Sessile spikelet laterally compressed; callus truncate; lower glume chartaceous to coriaceous, rounded or ± flat on the back, with or without lateral keels, often scabrid or muricate; lower floret reduced to a hyaline lemma; upper floret with hyaline subentire lemma bearing a glabrous geniculate awn from low down on the back, the palea minute or absent; caryopsis terete. Pedicelled spikelet variable, from as large as the sessible to quite suppressed.