Tufted or shortly rhizomatous annuals or perennials, often with simple and/or glandular hairs on vegetative parts and glumes, culms simple or branched. Leaf-blades flat or inrolled; ligules ciliate. Inflorescence a contracted to spike-like or capitate panicle, occasionally with cleistogamous spikelets not or barely exserted from the leaf-sheaths. Spikelets 3–8-flowered, the upper 1–several sterile and often reduced, florets often falling united; glumes few–many-nerved, subequal, not keeled; lower lemma 9–11-nerved, hairy, with 9 almost equal, stiffly ciliate awns, about as long as, to much longer than the lemma body; palea subequal to, or slightly longer than body of lemma.
About 30 species, from warm-temperate and tropical regions (Africa, America, Asia); c. 20 species in Australia, all native, 3 in Victoria.