grasses. Culms usually erect, rarely decumbent at base. Leaf-blades linear,
flat, leaf-sheaths split almost to base, ligule a membrane. Inflorescence a
distichous spike, linear, bearing single spikelet on a fragile rachis.
Spikelets sessile, many-flowered, 1-3 of lower florets bisexual, others
staminate or empty, apical floret usually sterile; glumes chartaceous, 1-2
keeled, 5-11 nerved, mucronate or awned; lemmas rounded on back or keeled near tip, awned or muticous; paleas 2-keeled.
Lodicules 2, ciliate. Stamens 3. Caryopsis elliptic, deeply furrowed.