Densely tufted perennials to c. 2 m tall, often forming a tough 'crown' with leafy shoots from a knotted base of very short rhizomes; nodes glabrous, or the lower sparsely pubescent.
Lower sheaths harshly pilose towards the base, otherwise glabrous; ligule to 4 mm long, asymmetric; blade 3–12 mm wide, sparsely long-hairy at the base behind the ligule, otherwise glabrous.
Inflorescence erect or somewhat nodding, 7–25 cm long with (2–)3–7(–11) solitary racemes scattered along a slender flattened common axis; racemes ascending, spreading or drooping, 2.5–12 cm long, dense. Spikelets paired (the raceme 4-rowed), closely imbricate, widely elliptic-ovate, acute, 2.8–4 mm long and 2–2.5 mm wide. Lower glume absent. Upper glume slightly exceeding the lower lemma, scantily to copiously fringed with fine long silky hairs; lower lemma sometimes also sparsely fringed. Fertile lemma 2.2–2.6 mm long, very broadly elliptic or rotundate-elliptic, crustaceous, minutely papillose-striate.
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