Plants annual or perennial. Culms to 100 cm, not branching above the base. Auricles absent; ligules membranous and ciliate or of hairs. Inflorescences panicles of racemosely arranged, spikelike branches, branches sometimes highly reduced, each panicle appearing spikelike; branches 1-sided, terminating in a more or less inconspicuous bristle, bristles 2.5-4 mm; disarticulation beneath the spikelets. Spikelets subsessile, in 2 rows on 1 side of the branches, lacking subtending bristles, dorsally compressed, with 2 florets, upper glumes and upper florets appressed to the branch axes. Glumes membranous; lower glumes much shorter than the spikelets; upper glumes subequal to the upper florets; lower florets sterile or staminate; lower lemmas similar to the upper glumes in size and texture; upper florets bisexual; upper lemmas indurate, rugose, unawned, yellow or brown; upper paleas similar to their lemmas; anthers 3. x = 9. The name is a diminutive of Paspalum.