Erect annual, to 50 cm high; culms rooting at lower nodes. Leaf sheaths prominently veined, puberulent and papillose-hirsute near apex; blades 5-20 cm long, 3-8 mm wide, puberulent and papillose-hirsute on both surfaces. Racemes 5-10 cm long; spikelets in groups of 4, the first glumes united at the base and forming a false involucre around the rest of the spikelets, the groups short-pedicellate; first glume 5-7 mm long, scabrid on the margins, indurate. Fruits lanceolate, acuminate, tan, ca 3.5 mm long. Shattuck 418. The spikelets disarticulate from the rachis in groups of four. This unit has no obvious means of dispersal, but since the caryopsis is well protected by the indurate glumes, the spikelets may be bird dispersed. Throughout tropical America. In Panama, from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone (both slopes), Colón, and Panama and from tropical dry forest in Panama (Taboga Island).