Plants annual. Culms 13-120 cm, not woody. Ligules membranous, truncate, lacerate, sometimes ciliate; blades linear, flat. Inflorescences terminal, panicles of 1-70, 1-sided, spikelike branches, irregularly disposed on elongate rachises, clearly exceeding the upper leaves; branches with 2 rows of 1 or more closely imbricate, sessile spikelets, proximal spikelets sometimes replaced by short, tardily deciduous, secondary branches; disarticulation at the base of the branches or at the base of the secondary branches and (eventually) beneath the florets. Spikelets laterally compressed, cuneate, with 1-3 florets. Glumes subequal, much longer than the florets, usually exceeding the distal florets, coriaceous or membranous, strongly keeled, acuminate-aristate; lemmas thinly membranous, weakly keeled, 3-veined, pilose over the veins, apices acute to 2-lobed, central veins excurrent, forming mucros. Caryopses elliptic-oblong, trigonous. x = 10. Name a corruption of the Arabic danaiba, little tail, an allusion to the prolonged apices of the glumes.