herbs, with long scaly rhizomes. Culms tufted, erect, flattened, angular, or
terete, usually smooth, rarely rough. Leaves distichous; basal sheaths brown to
purplish; ligule absent; leaf blade unifacial, compressed or terete, sometimes
reduced to a sheath. Involucral bracts sheathing and with a short blade.
Inflorescences paniculate, consisting of few to several partial panicles, main
axis often sinuous. Spikelets often clustered, rarely solitary, ovoid to
narrowly ovoid, compressed. Glumes distichous, basal 1 or 2 flowers bisexual,
apical flower(s) male. Perianth bristles absent. Stamens 3. Style base
distinctly thickened, conic or pyramidal, persistent; stigmas 3. Nutlets
stipitate or sessile, ovoid, oblong, or oblong-ellipsoid, terete or 3-sided,
smooth or rugulose, apex beaked.