Tufted glabrous annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades folded or involute, rarely flat; ligules ciliate. Inflorescence a panicle. Spikelets 1-flowered; glumes paired, persistent, the lower sometimes longer than upper; lemma firm, more or less terete with the margins overlapping or inrolled and opposed, awn trifid with or without a spirally twisted column between the lemma and awn-branches; palea hyaline, much shorter than lemma.
About 350 species, cosmopolitan, mostly tropical or sub-tropical; 56 species in Australia, 9 in Victoria.