Annuals, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cr oss section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades 1-2 cm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence densely corymbose, paniculate, or capitate, rays reduced or absent, Inflorescence spike ovoid, lanceolate, or oblong, not more than twice as long as wide, Inflorescence single raceme, fascicle or spike, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelet with 1 fertile floret and 1-2 sterile florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glume equal to or longer than spikelet, Glumes keeled or winged, Glumes 1 nerved, Glumes 3 nerved, Lemma coriaceous, firmer or thicker in texture than the glumes, Lemma becoming indurate, enclosing palea and caryopsis, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma body or surface hairy, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea longer than lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryop sis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear.
Annual. Culms 20-100 cm high. Panicle 1-6 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, ovate-oblong. Glumes 4-6.5 mm long, ± equal, broadly winged, the wing margin usually erose-denticulate, occasionally entire; sterile floret, 1,1-1.8 mm long or very short and only 0.2-0.3 mm long, glabrous; fertile floret broadly lanceolate-ovate, 2.7-4 mm long, grey-brown and shiny at maturity, pubescent.
Annual, tufted. Culms 20–100 cm tall. Uppermost leaf sheaths not inflated; leaf blades 3–9 mm wide; ligule 4–6 mm. Panicle dense, ovate to oblong, 1–6 cm. Spikelets elliptic, 4.5–5.5 mm; glumes winged on upper part of keel, wing margin erose-denticulate; sterile lemma 1, ca. 1 mm, appressed-pilose; fertile lemma lanceolate-ovate, 2.7–4 mm, pubescent, becoming cartilaginous and shiny. Anthers 1.5–1.8 mm. 2n = 28.
It has had an uneventful taxonomic history. It was first published under its current name by Anders Jahan Retzius in 1783, and has retained that name since. It has no synonyms, and no infraspecific taxa.