Plants annuals or short-lived perennials; tufted. Culms 2-30 cm, sometimes decumbent, glabrous. Sheaths open, usually shorter than the internodes, with tufts of 1.5-4 mm hairs on the margins of the collars; auricles absent; ligules membranous, ciliate; blades flat or folded, becoming involute on drying. Inflorescences terminal, dense panicles, 1-7 cm long, 0.5-2(3) cm wide, branches 1-2 per node; disarticulation initially above the glumes, glumes and pedicels sometimes falling together later. Spikelets with (4)5-7(10) florets. Glumes subequal, exceeding or exceeded by the distal floret, 3-7-veined, margins hyaline; lemmas 7-9-veined, margins and intercostal regions usually pubescent, varying to glabrous, margins hyaline, apices bifid or merely notched, sinuses sometimes mucronate, mucros to 1.5 mm; paleas spatulate, membranous, 2-veined, 2-keeled; anthers 3, 0.2-0.5 mm. Caryopses ovoid. x = 6. Name from the Greek schizo, split, referring to the bidentate lemma.