Herbs, perennial, cespitose, short-rhizomatous. Culms rounded-trigonous. Leaves basal and cauline; basal leaf sheaths persistent; ligules present; blades involute to filiform. Inflorescences terminal, spicate or paniculate, simple or compound; spikelets mostly 10–30; proximal bracts subtending spikes leaflike or scalelike; bracts subtending spikelets scalelike. Spikelets: terminal and distal spikelets usually 1-flowered, staminate; proximal spikelets 1-flowered and pistillate, or 2–4-flowered and bisexual with 1 pistillate flower proximally and 1–3 staminate flowers distally, all enclosed by scalelike bract open to one side (perigynium), perigynium sometimes enclosing additional sterile scales. Flowers unisexual; perianth absent; stamens 3; styles linear, usually 3-fid, base persistent. Achenes usually trigonous, included in perygynium.
Herbs, perennial. Rhizomes usually very short, sometimes obliquely and shortly creeping, rarely stoloniferous and spreading. Stems usually tufted, rarely scattered. Leaves basal or sub-basal; basal leaf sheaths persistent and usually prominent; blade with midrib not distinct abaxially (margin involute, sometimes filiform), or with midrib distinct abaxially (flat, sometimes folded). Inflorescence terminal, paniculate to spicate, sometimes unisexual; lowest involucral bract leafy or glumelike, sheathless; branches of inflorescence sessile. Spikelets subtended by glumes, unisexual or bisexual; bisexual spikelets with 1 female flower at base and 1 to several male flowers at distal parts enclosed by prophylls; unisexual spikelets with a solitary female flower within prophylls. Sterile rachilla in female spikelet usually present. Flowers unisexual. Female flowers reduced to naked pistils; ovary 2- or 3-carpellate; style elongated; stigmas 2 or 3. Male flowers subtended by male glumes; stamens 1-3; filaments free, longer than glumes, slender; male glumes usually distinct in shape from glumes of female spikelets. Nutlets trigonous or flattened, usually included in prophylls, beaked or not, stipitate or not.
|Kobrésie [for J. P. von Cobres, 1747–1823, German bibliophile]|