Tufted, rhizomatous or stoloniferous annuals or perennials. Culm internodes solid or spongy. Ligule membranous, often the leaf-blade fringed immediately adjacent to the ligule. Inflorescence a panicle of 2–several racemes. Spikelets densely arranged in rows along 1 side of each raceme, 2-flowered, the lower floret neuter, the upper floret bisexual; glumes 1 or 2; sterile lemma membranous, as long as the spikelet; fertile lemma firm to hard, slightly shorter than or equal to the spikelet, its dorsal surface facing toward the axis.
About 250 species, predominantly from tropical and near-tropical countries; 15 in Australia, 2 or 3 native, 6 in Victoria (all naturalized).
Paspalum dasypleurum Kunze has been collected once in Victoria (1944), from a roadside verge in suburban Mont Albert. It broadly resembles common P. dilatatum Poir. but has a fertile lemma as long as the spikelet. It is presumed extinct (if ever truly established) in Victoria. It is keyed here, but not treated further.