Tufted or rhizomatous annuals or perennials. Leaves glabrous or almost so. Inflorescence a slender panicle. Spikelets with 1 bisexual flower above 2 sterile ones, falling as a unit when ripe; glumes paired, persistent, equal to or shorter than the lemmas; sterile lemmas thickened, sometimes awned; fertile lemma not thickened, awnless; palea thinner and shorter than fertile lemma; stamens mostly 6.
About 27 species in Africa (1 in India); 6 introduced in Australia, 4 in Victoria.