Description from Flora of China
Perennials, tufted, sometimes shortly rhizomatous. Leaf blades narrowly to broadly linear, usually flat; ligule membranous. Inflorescence a moderately lax to spikelike panicle, shining. Spikelets with 2 or 3 florets, disarticulating below each floret; rachilla shortly bearded, extended beyond uppermost floret, tipped by a reduced or vestigial floret; glumes lanceolate, unequal or subequal, shorter than spikelet, keeled, herbaceous or membranous, margins broad, hyaline, lower glume 1(–3)-veined, upper glume 3-veined, apex acute or acuminate; floret callus glabrous or shortly bearded; lemmas lanceolate, laterally compressed, membranous to thinly leathery, 5-veined, glabrous, awned from above middle of back, apex 2-toothed, teeth often aristulate; awn geniculate with twisted column or merely outwardly curved; palea hyaline, slightly to distinctly shorter than lemma, gaping free from lemma margins. Ovary glabrous or almost so. Caryopsis with punctiform hilum; endosperm sometimes liquid.
About 70 species: temperate regions of the world except Africa, also on tropical mountains; 12 species (five endemic) in China.
(Authors: Wu Zhenlan (吴珍兰); Sylvia M. Phillips)