About 300 species of perennial and mainly evergreen grasses of cosmopolitan distribution in temperate climates. They may be tufted to clump-forming or rhizomatous, producing colonies or mats. The leaves may be narrowly linear and flat or rolled lengthwise. In general the flowers are not especially decorative, the small flattened spikelets being arranged, with some exceptions, in narrow erect panicles.
Some of the small species described here are pleasing foliage plants or can be used as constituents of an alpine lawn. Well drained sandy soil low in nutrients is best, and plenty of sun. Propagation by seed or division in spring.