Herbs, annual or short-lived perennial. Roots fibrous. Culms scattered, with leaves basally. Leaves basal, 3-ranked; ligule absent. Involucral bracts several, leaflike, usually longer than inflorescence. Inflorescence a compound anthela; rays unequal in length, with several ± short raylets. Spikes at apex of ray or raylet, globose, with numerous spikelets. Spikelets densely arranged, each 1- or 2-flowered; rachilla articulate near base, deciduous at articulation when mature. Glumes distichous, persistent on and deciduous with rachilla, basalmost without a flower, remaining ones each with a bisexual flower, keel broadly winged. Flowers without hypogynous bristles or scalelike perianth parts. Style base not swollen, deciduous; stigmas 3. Nutlet 3-sided, one side toward rachilla.