Herbs, perennial. Rhizomes creeping. Culms nodose or not, 3-angled or terete, smooth or scabrous. Leaves basal or cauline, ligulate. Basalmost involucral bract leaflike, suberect; bractlets glumelike. Inflorescences spicate with few to many pseudodistichous spikelets, rarely with a lateral branch. Spikelets dark brown, with few bisexual flowers. Glumes imbricate, subdistichous. Perianth bristles 3-6, rarely absent, usually retrorsely scabrous. Stamens 3; connective apex evident beyond anthers. Style deciduous, base not thickened; stigmas 2. Nutlet stipitate, oblong, plano-convex, smooth, apex beaked.