Erect, coarse perennial, 60-100 cm tall; culms often with stout roots at lower nodes, the leaves sparse below. Sheaths shorter than the internodes, crowded near the apex, the margins densely long-ciliate near the apex; blades oblong-elliptic, asymmetrical, usually acuminate, 18-30 cm long, 6-9.5 cm wide, +/- glabrous, cross-veined; petioles short, densely pubescent at apex. Spikes 20-30 cm long, ca 1 cm thick, densely flowered; spikelets appressed, the lemma bearing awns to 10 cm long, antrorsely barbed, the barbs straight below, twisted and curled toward apex, interconnected with other awns; stamens and styles both prominently exserted at anthesis, both white. Inflorescences usually nodding in fruit, the spikelets disarticulating at the base, hanging suspended by their long awns; the indurate bifid palea somewhat divergent at the apex, useful for dispersal. Croat 8816. Common to locally abundant in dense forest. Flowering in the dry season. The fruits present throughout much of the year. Fruits disperse by attachment of the sharp palea to passing animals. The mass of fruits is held together, however, by the tangled awns and often falls to the ground, where seeds may germinate.