Annual, or perennial; short-lived. Culms erect, or geniculately ascending; 50-100 cm long; 2.5-3 mm diam.; 6-8 -noded. Culm-nodes brown; glabrous, or pubescent. Leaf-sheaths 6-9 cm long; glabrous on surface, or pilose. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 2.5 mm long; erose. Leaf-blades 5-15 cm long; 3-5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface glabrous, or pubescent. Leaf-blade margins scabrous.
Inflorescence composed of racemes. Racemes 5-14; digitate; unilateral; 7-13 cm long; simple, or secondarily branched. Central inflorescence axis 3-5 cm long. Rhachis angular; scabrous on margins. Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels unequal; 0.9 mm long, or 3 mm long; scabrous.
Glumes one the lower absent or obscure; reaching apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Upper glume elliptic; 2.8-2.9 mm long; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 3-5 -veined. Upper glume surface puberulous; hairy between veins. Upper glume apex acute.
Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 7 -veined; puberulous; hairy between veins but central interspaces glabrous; acute. Fertile lemma elliptic; 2.8 mm long; cartilaginous; much thinner on margins; without keel. Lemma margins flat; covering most of palea. Palea cartilaginous.
Anthers 3; 1.5-1.8 mm long.
Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; ovoid; 1.2-1.3 mm long.
South America: Mesoamericana, northern South America, western South America, Brazil, and southern South America.