Tufted or rhizomatous annuals or perennials. Inflorescence a contracted, often spike-like panicle. Spikelets 1-flowered; glumes 2, equal, falling with lemma, 3-nerved, exceeding lemmas, sometimes partly fused, unawned; lemma 5–7-nerved, entire, glabrous or hairy, dorsally awned, membranous; palea reduced or absent.
About 20 species from Eurasia and temperate South America; 4 naturalised in Australia, 3 in Victoria.
Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. is currently recognized as occurring in WA, SA, NSW and Tas. A solitary specimen, labelled 'Goulburn, Dec. 1900' but of doubtful origin, exists at MEL. In the absence of subsequent records, the species has been removed from the Victorian flora, but its absence from Victoria is puzzling.