Glumes very unequal, 1-nerved, glabrous; the inferior 5-7 mm. long, broadly lanceolate, slightly 2-fid, minutely serrulate-ciliate at the margins towards the apex; the superior 15-20 mm. long, narrowly linear with a mucro from a 2-fid apex.
Spikelets pallid or tinged with red or purple, especially at the base, sometimes with a black spot.
Panicle up to 50 cm. long, effuse and very lax, often nodding, often few-flowered; branches glabrous or scaberulous, 2- or 3-nate with filiform branchlets; axis smooth.
Leaf-laminae up to 30 x 0.3-0.5 cm., when expanded, involute or more or less flat at the base, prominently nerved and scabrous above, smooth beneath.
Leaf-sheaths slightly scaberulous or glabrous.
Ligule a short-ciliate rim; auricles with a tuft of woolly hairs; collar glabrous.
Annual, up to 1.5 m. high, robust, laxly caespitose.
Culms erect, simple or slightly branched from the upper nodes, glabrous, usually 3-noded; nodes glabrous.
Lemma 7-9 mm. long, smooth below, strongly punctulate towards the apex; callus slender, c. 2 mm. long, 2-fid, barbate; column 2-3 cm. long, prominently twisted, scabrous; awns subequal, scabrous, 3.5-5.5 cm. long; articulation between the apex of the lemma and the base of the column.
Loosely tufted annual; culms 90–150 cm. high, the internodes glabrous.
Panicle effuse, up to 50 cm. long, lax, often nodding.
Leaf-blades up to 30 cm. long and 4 mm. wide, often involute, with a flake of wool at the auricles.
Spikelets pallid or purplish; glumes unequal, obtuse or at most mucronate; lower glume lanceolate, 5–7 mm. long; upper glume linear-lanceolate, 14–20 mm. long; lemma terete, 7–9 mm. long, glabrous, articulated at the apex; callus 1.5–2 mm. long, broadly linear, 2-toothed; column 1.5–3 cm. long; central awn 3.5–6 cm. long, the laterals a little shorter.