Plants annual. Culms to 60 cm, procumbent to erect, sparingly branched at the base. Leaves basal and cauline; sheaths open, glabrous; auricles absent; ligules longer than wide, acute; blades linear, usually flat, sometimes convolute when dry, glabrous. Inflorescences terminal, racemes or panicles, usually with 1 branch per node; branches stiff, not secund, pedicels 0.5-3 mm. Spikelets subsessile, tangential to the rachises, lanceolate to ovate, laterally compressed, with 4-25 florets, distal florets reduced; disarticulation above the glumes, beneath the florets; rachillas not prolonged beyond the base of the distal floret. Glumes unequal to subequal, shorter than or subequal to the adjacent lemmas, 1-5-veined, unawned; calluses blunt, rounded, glabrous; lemmas narrowly elliptic, coriaceous at maturity, inconspicuously 5-veined, glabrous, sometimes scabridulous towards the apices, apices acute to obtuse, sometimes bifid, often mucronate, unawned; paleas about as long as the lemmas, 2-veined; lodicules 2, free, lanceolate; anthers 3, only slightly exserted at anthesis; ovaries glabrous. Caryopses shorter than the lemmas, concealed at maturity, ellipsoid-oblong, dorsally flattened, falling with the paleas; hila about 1/10 as long as the caryopses, ovate, x = 7.
Desmazeria has six or seven species, all of which are native around the Mediterranean. There are two species in the Flora region, one established as a weed and one introduced as an ornamental.
One or two genera have sometimes been segregated from Desmazeria; current opinion favors the treatment presented here.