Plants annual. Culms to 62 cm, often branching; lower internodes
6-10 mm thick. Sheaths glabrous; ligules 1-2 mm, ciliate, with 1-2
mm hairs; blades 10-60 cm long, 6-12 mm wide, sometimes longer than the
culms, adaxial surfaces scabrous or pubescent. Panicles subdigitate, with
4-20 branches, 1(2) of the branches attached below the terminal cluster; branches
4-17 cm long, 5-15 mm wide, spreading at maturity. Spikelets 5-9 mm long,
3-6 mm wide, with 2-9 florets, sometimes not disarticulating at maturity. Lower
glumes 1.2-3 mm, 2- or 3-veined; upper glumes 2.2-6.5 mm; lemmas
2.2-5 mm; anthers about 1 mm. Seeds oblong-globose, granular, usually
exposed at maturity. 2n = 36.
Eleusine coracana is an allotetraploid, one of its genomes being derived
from E. indica. Two subspecies are recognized;
only subsp. coracana is known from North America.