Plants usually perennial, rarely annual; rhizomatous. Culms (10)20-250 cm, erect or decumbent, freely rooting at the lower nodes, not cormous based. Sheaths closed for at least 3/4 their length, often almost entirely closed; ligules scarious, erose to lacerate; blades flat or folded. Inflorescences terminal, usually panicles, sometimes racemes in depauperate specimens, branches appressed to divergent or reflexed. Spikelets cylindrical and terete or oval and laterally compressed, with 2-16 florets, terminal floret in each spikelet sterile, reduced; disarticulation above the glumes, below the florets. Glumes much smaller than to equaling the adjacent lemmas, 1-veined, obtuse or acute, often erose; lower glumes 0.3-4.5 mm; upper glumes 0.6-7 mm; calluses glabrous; lemmas membranous to thinly coriaceous, rounded over the back, smooth or scabrous, glabrous or hairy, hairs to about 0.1 mm, 5-11-veined, veins usually evident, often prominent and ridged, not or scarcely converging distally, apical margins hyaline, sometimes with a purplish band below the hyaline portion, apices acute to rounded or truncate, entire, erose, or irregularly lobed, unawned; paleas from shorter than to longer than the lemmas, keeled, keels sometimes winged; lodicules thick, sometimes connate, not winged; anthers (1)2-3; ovaries glabrous; styles 2-branched, branches divergent to recurved, plumose distally. x = 10. Name from the Greek glukeros, 'sweet', the caryopses of the type species being sweet.