Plants perennial; usually strongly rhizomatous or stoloniferous, rhizomes and stolons with persistent sheaths. Culms 5-40 cm, prostrate to erect, solitary or not; internodes numerous, short. Sheaths overlapping; ligules of hairs; blades usually stiffly spreading, flat or convolute below, folded distally, apices often cartilaginous and sharp. Inflorescences terminal, dense panicles of non-disarticulating spikelike branches racemosely arranged on elongate rachises, exceeding the upper leaves; branches 2.5-5 mm wide, axes triquetrous, spikelets closely packed, subsessile, in 2 rows. Spikelets bisexual, dorsally compressed, with 2-14 florets. Glumes unequal, exceeded by the florets, keeled; lower glumes 1-5(7)-veined; upper glumes 3-9-veined; lemmas 7-11-veined, mucronate, mucros 0.1-0.3 mm; lodicules 2; anthers 3, 0.8-1.6 mm; style branches 2. Caryopses ovoid-ellipsoid; hila punctate, basal; embryos about 1/2 as long as the caryopses. x = 10. Name from the Greek aeluros, cat, and pus, leg, because the shape of the culms and panicles supposedly suggests a cat's leg.