Caespitose perennial to 2 m high.
Leaves with ligule scarcely ciliate, truncate to obliquely truncate, 0.8–3 mm long; auricles thickened, glabrous; blade flat or convolute, 3–6 mm wide, scabrous to minutely scaberulous, occasionally with scattered hairs.
Panicle exserted at length, moderately sparse, usually spreading, to 55 cm long. Spikelets tightly enclosed, gaping widely at floret disarticulation, 8–14 mm long (excluding awn). Glumes unequal, acuminate with long fine tips often reduced to the midrib. Lemma 4–7.5 mm long, silky, gold-brown to dark red-brown at maturity; lobes minute or absent; coma of sparse appressed hairs or occasionally absent. Callus short and broad, hairy. Awn twice bent, 2.5–4 cm long. Palea subequal to the lemma.