Perennial, tussocky; basal sheaths glabrous. Culms slender, 0.3–1.2 m tall, ca. 2 mm in diam., nodes glabrous, glabrous or infrequently thinly pilose below inflorescence. Leaf sheaths usually glabrous or upper margin pilose; leaf blades linear, 10–40 × 0.2–0.6 cm, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial surface pilose especially at base, apex finely acuminate; ligule very short, ca. 0.5 mm, margin ciliate. Racemes 3–16, subdigitate or inserted on a short axis to 1.5 cm, 4–15 cm, hairs silvery white; rachis internodes and pedicels ca. 1/2 spikelet length, densely ciliate, hairs longer at apex. Sessile spikelet 2.5–4.5 mm, chestnut brown or purplish; callus hairs short, ca. 0.5 mm; lower glume narrowly oblong-lanceolate, papery, back flat, lower flanks villous, upper keels ciliate, veinless between keels, apex narrowly truncate, entire or bimucronate; upper lemma linear, 2-toothed to about middle; awn 0.7–2 cm. Anthers 2–2.8 mm. Fl. and fr. autumn. 2n = 20.
Tussock-forming perennial; basal sheaths glabrous or thinly pubescent; culms 30-120 cm high. Leaf-blades 10-30 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, often slender and flexuous. Inflorescence composed of 2-16 subdigitate racemes each 5-15 cm long, these light brown with white hairs from internodes and pedicels. Spikelets narrowly elliptic-oblong, 2.5-4 mm long; lower glume light brown, pilose with white hairs, with a subacute hyaline tip; lower lemma well-developed; upper lemma bifid to about the middle, with an awn 7-15 mm long.