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Annual or perennial grasses, culms erect or decumbent. Leaf-blades mostly linear or linear-lanceolate, ligule membranous. Inflorescence of racemes, digitate, sometimes with secondary branchlets, rachis flat or triquetrous, spikelets in appressed groups of 2-3 (-4), pedicels terete or triquetrous. Spikelets puberulous to villous, typically striped between veins, 2-flowered; lower glume small or suppressed; upper glume variable; lower floret staminate or neuter, upper bisexual; lower lemma like glumes in texture, more or less equal to spikelet;  upper lemma chartaceous to cartilaginous, margins thin and flat.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Spikelets paired; pedicels with truncate tips 2
1b. Spikelets in groups of 3 or more, at least in middle part of raceme 4
2a. Lower glume absent or almost so Digitaria setigera
2b. Lower glume small but distinctly present 3
3a. Upper glume 1/3-1/2 length of spikelet Digitaria sanguinalis
3b. Upper glume ½-3/4 length of spikelet. Lateral nerves of lower lemma smooth, upper lemma not exceeding lower lemma Digitaria ciliaris
4a. Spikelets with verrucose hairs, pedicel tips glabrous Digitaria longiflora
4b. Spikelets with capitate or clavate hairs, pedicel tips hairy 5
5a. Tips of pedicels without overtopping hairs or spicules Digitaria abludens
5b. Tips of pedicels with a circle of stiff, overtopping hairs or spicules up to 1mm long 6
6a. Spikelets 1.8-2.5 mm long; upper glume 2/3-4/5 spikelet length Digitaria ternata
6b. Spikelets 1.2-1.5 mm long; upper glume ¼-1/2 spikelet length Digitaria stricta