Tufted or rhizomatous perennials. Leaf-blades flat; ligules membranous, sometimes fringed. Inflorescence of 1–20 spike-like racemes, often digitately arranged, silky-hairy. Spikelets paired (one sessile, one pedicellate), both with 1 fertile floret, sometimes also with a barren lemma below the fertile floret, the lower (sessile) spikelet falling attached to the pedicel of the upper spikelet which falls free; glumes 2, subequal, hairy, truncate, the lower 1–9-nerved, 2-keeled; the upper 1–5-nerved; lemma(s) and palea thinly membranous, much shorter than glumes, fertile lemma awned.
About 30 species, from tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia; 5 in Australia, 1 in Victoria.