Perennial; culms caespitose,1-10 m long, erect at base, arching and leaning on surrounding vegetation; internodes 5-15 mm thick, hollow, glabrous or with pubescence papillose or reduced to a single line, at least the older ones somewhat woody; nodes glabrous. Sheaths pubescent, rarely glabrate, often papillose-pubescent, especially near apex; ligules inconspicuous, usually to 1.5 mm long; blades mostly elliptic to linear-lanceolate, acuminate at apex, often asymmetrical at base, 8-20 cm long, 1-3.5 cm wide, usually puberulent above and velutinous below, the margins scabrid. Panicles terminal, (5) 9-25 (35) cm long; branches usually scabrous, at first ascending, spreading when fruiting; spikelets obovate to elliptic, green to purple-black at maturity of fruit, mostly 3.5-4 mm long; first glume 7-11-veined, one-third to one-half as long as second glume; second glume and sterile lemma woolly-pubescent at tip; sterile floret with or without a staminate flower; lemma 9-11-veined; palea one-half as long to same length as fertile floret. Seeds 1.8-2.3 mm long. Croat 8009.