Plants perennial; loosely cespitose. Culms 15-80 cm. Sheaths open nearly to the base; ligules membranous; blades rolled in the bud. Inflorescences open or closed panicles; branches often flexuous, capillary, spikelets distal. Spikelets usually with 2 florets, sometimes with additional distal rudimentary florets; rachillas not prolonged beyond the distal florets; first internodes about 0.5 mm; disarticulation above the glumes and beneath the florets. Glumes subequal to equal, equaling or exceeding the florets, membranous, acute to acuminate; lower glumes 1(3)-veined; upper glumes 3-veined; calluses obtuse, pilose, hairs about 1/2 as long as the lemmas; lemmas ovate, with 5(7) obscure veins, awned, awns attached near the middle of the lemmas, twisted, geniculate, visible between the glumes; paleas almost equal to the lemmas; lodicules 2, membranous, toothed or not toothed; anthers 3; ovaries glabrous. Caryopses adhering to the lemmas and paleas; hila linear to oblong, 1/4-1/2 the length of the caryopses. x = 7. Named for the Danish botanist Jens Laurentius Moestue Vahl (1796-1854), the son of botanist Martin Vahl.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MG-70-19-0057-19].