Spikelets 2-several-fld, ±compressed laterally, disarticulating above the glumes and between the lemmas; glumes lanceolate to ovate, acute or subacute, 3-veined or the first 1-veined; lemma in most spp. keeled, often scarious at the margins and tip, generally 5-veined (but the intermediate veins obscure or obsolete in some spp.), often with a tuft of long, cobwebby hairs (called a web) at the base; uppermost florets reduced, unisexual or vestigial; rachilla in a few spp. finely puberulent or scaberulous, otherwise glabrous; lvs ending in a boat-shaped tip; panicles open or contracted, the branches generally in fascicles of 2-5, sometimes more. 150+, widespread, mostly temp. and boreal. Many of the spp. confluent through polyploid (often apomictic) forms.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.