Tufted or shortly rhizomatous perennials, culms unbranched. Leaves flat to inrolled; ligule a ciliate membrane. Normal inflorescence a contracted panicle; cleistogenes often produced in lower leaf-sheaths. Spikelets with 1 bisexual flower; glumes paired, equal, membranous, persistent; lemma terete to slightly laterally compressed, firmer than glumes, usually not entirely enclosing palea; hairy to some extent along nerves; coma present; awn persistent, geniculate, the column not strongly differentiated from the bristle and weakly twisting at maturity; palea subequal to lemma (in Australia), of similar texture to lemma.
Five species from South America and Mexico. Two species naturalised in Australia. Formerly included in Achnatherum, the boundaries of which are somewhat unclear.