Arborescent bamboos; culms usually erect from a densely branched root-stock. Culm-sheaths deciduous, variably auricled, usually elongate; imperfect blade narrowly triangular. Leaf-blades shortly petiolate, without transverse vein-lets, but frequently with pellucid glands instead. Inflorescence a large compound panicle, the spikelets usually in globose heads in long spikes. Spikelets subtended by 1 or more glume-like bracts, these often with secondary spikelets arising from buds in their axils, ovate, acute or obtuse, few-flowered, the florets usually bisexual; glumes and lemmas similar, many-nerved, ovate, acute or mucronate; palea ovate, acute, truncate, emarginate or cleft, the lower 2-keeled, ciliate, the upper usually rounded on the back, often nearly glabrous; lodicules absent or poorly developed; stamens 6; style 1; stigma 1. Caryopsis small, the seed surrounded by a crustaceous or hardened pericarp.