Perennial herbs with short woody rhizome. Leaves basal and cauline, usually narrow. Inflorescence paniculate. Flowers in each spikelet 1-2(-3), bisexual, fertile. Stamens 3, rarely 2;
Africa: present Asia-Tropical:, New Guinea present Japan: present circum-South Pacific: present
In KÜKENTHAL’S circumscription the genus comprises 11 spp., 9 of them endemic in Africa, 1 in Japan, and 1 circum-South Pacific, in Malesia: New Guinea.