At least 250 species of annual and perennial grasses, mainly from the temperate northern hemisphere but also in the cooler parts of the southern hemisphere. They may be densely tussock-forming, loosely tufted, or spread by rhizomes and form colonies. The small flowering spikelets are borne in loose to dense panicles.
Although many species are native to montane, subalpine and alpine regions, most are too big or lack a sufficiently decorative appearance to make them acceptable for the rock garden. Well drained but not dry soil and a sunny site are essential. Propagation by seed or division in spring. The following species are not easy to obtain but worthy of cultivation by enthusiasts.