Tufted annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades flat; ligules membranous. Inflorescence a panicle with capillary branches. Spikelets 4–20-flowered, ovoid or rounded-triangular; glumes 2, persistent, almost round, cordate at base, 3–9-nerved; lemmas resembling glumes, closely overlapping; palea broadly ovate to obovate, shorter than lemma.
20 species from temperate areas in the Northern Hemisphere and South America; 3 naturalised in Australia, 2 in Victoria.