Spikelets 4-20-fld, disarticulating above the glumes and between the lemmas, broad and laterally compressed, orbicular to cordate or triangular; glumes very broad, 3-9-veined, chartaceous, scarious-margined; lemmas closely imbricate, cordate, broader than long, 7-9-veined, chartaceous, the scarious margins flaring over the lemmas opposite; uppermost florets reduced; palea shorter than the lemma; panicle with very slender branches and pedicels bearing usually nodding, often purplish or brownish spikelets. 20, N. Temp., S. Amer.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.