Annuals or perennials; culms often trailing, creeping near base, forming mats in shady habitats.
Inflorescence of racemosely arranged racemes; racemes distant, solitary, secund, spreading or slanting,
simple or somewhat compound, sometimes very short, with a few spikelets or only one, in latter case
inflorescence resembnling a thin spike; axis keeled on abaxial side; branches and pairs of spikelets alternate
along keels. Spikelets secund, usually in pairs, one spikelet often poorly developed and small;
spikelets articulate with a short pedicel, oblong, 2-flowered; rachilla articulate at base of upper lemma;
glumes and lower lemma herbaceous; glumes 5-7-veined, awned just below apex, shorter than spikelet,
or upper glume as long; lower glume with longest awn, abaxial; upper lemma small, smooth and glossy,
glabrous, 5-veined, with opaque inrolled margins embracing upper palea; upper palea as long and of
same texture, with broadly incurved margins, 2-veined; lodicules 2, small; stamens 3, anthers linear;
ovary oblong, attenuate, with 2 short, distant styles, stigma narrowly plumose, exserted apically. Caryopsis
wholly enclosed but free from indurate upper palea and upper lemma.
Nine species, in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Three species in Taiwan.