Plants perennial or annual; cespitose, more or less hairy throughout. Culms 3-100 cm; nodes hairy; internodes hollow. Sheaths open; ligules of hairs; microhairs of blades each with an elongated basal cell and an inflated terminal cell. Inflorescences terminal, spikelike to somewhat open panicles, bases often included within the uppermost leaf sheath; disarticulation above the glumes but not between the florets, florets falling as a unit. Spikelets with 3-6 florets, frequently only the lowest floret bisexual, distal florets progressively reduced. Glumes subequal, as long as or slightly shorter than the florets (including the awns), more or less pubescent; lower glumes 5-7-veined; lemmas firm, rounded on the backs, villous below the middle, strongly 9-veined, veins extending into equal, plumose awns 3-5 times as long as the lemma bodies and forming a pappuslike crown; paleas longer than the lemmas, entire, thinly membranous, 2-veined, 2-keeled, keels hairy; anthers 3, 0.2-1.5 mm; styles 2, free to the base, white. x = 10. Name from the Greek ennea, nine, and pogon, beard, a reference to the nine hairy awns of the lemma.