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Annual or perennial grasses, culms prostrate, rooting at the base. Leaf-blades linear to lanceolate, ligules a line of hairs. Inflorescence composed of 2-many lateral racemes and a terminal raceme similar to the laterals, borne on a common axis, rachis triquetrous to ribbon-like. Spikelets single or paired, 1.7-2.7 mm long, sessile or pedicelled, florets 2, awnless; lower glume 0.2-0.5 mm long; lower florets male or neuter, upper florets bisexual; upper lemmas readily deciduous, smooth, with inflexed edges, shiny, obtuse, faintly nerved. 

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Culms robust, up to 2 m tall; inflorescence with 10-20 racemes; rachis more or less flat 2
1b. Culms slender, up to 60 cm tall; inflorescence with less than 10 racemes; rachis triquetrous 3
2a. Spikelets 2.5-3.0 mm long, densely and untidily crowded in more than 2 rows on the rachis B. mutica
2b. Spikelets 4.0-5.0 mm long, seated in 2 rows on the undersurface of a curved rachis B. decumbens
3a. Panicle linear, racemes erect; lower glume a minute scale, 0.3-0.5 mm long B. eruciformis
3b. Panicle oblong, lanceolate or spreading; lower glume up to half as long as the spikelet 4
4a. Spikelets 1.2-2.4 mm long B. reptans
4b. Spikelets 2.5-3.5 mm long 5
5a. Spikelets turgid, broadly ovate-elliptic to broadly elliptic-oblong, apiculate B. ramosa
5b. Spikelets not turgid, elliptic or obovate, not apiculate 6
6a. Spikelets distant on the branches of a loose panicle, not secund on the rachis B. kurzii
6b. Spikelets crowded, secund on the rachis B. distachya