Perennials, often decumbent, sometimes annuals. Leaf-blades linear; ligule membranous. Inflorescence of paired or digitate racemes, the former often inter-locked back to back, terminal or axillary, internodes and pedicels clavate to inflated. Sessile spikelet dorsally compressed, the callus obtuse and inserted into the concave tip of the internode; lower glume chartaceous to coriaceous, convex to concave, laterally 2-keeled, sometimes winged; upper glume awned or not; lower floret male with a palea; upper lemma bifid, passing between the teeth into a glabrous awn (rarely awnless). Caryopsis oblong to lanceolate, dorsally compressed. Pedicelled spikelet as large as the sessile or much smaller, often asymmetrical.