Coarse perennial, 2-4 (5) m tall, stoloniferous, rhizomatous, usually in large colonies; culms erect, glabrous. Sheaths longer than the internodes, glabrous; blades to 50 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, glabrous but with scabrous margins. Panicles 25-55 cm long, plumelike; branches drooping, slender, whorled at base, angulate, scabrous; spikelets 10-20 mm long, bearing several flowers; glumes unequal, dark brown, the first 4-5 mm long, the second 6-8 mm long; lemmas 10-13 mm long, awned-acuminate; rachillas bearded with long white trichomes nearly as long as the spikelet. Fruits not seen. Croat 12585. Fruits usually disarticulate beneath the long-bearded rachilla, which probably aids in wind dispersal. They are also dispersed to some extent by water currents. Temperate and tropical areas throughout the world. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Colón, Panama, and Darien and from premontane wet forest in Chiriqui (Boquete).