Plants annual or perennial; cespitose, sometimes stoloniferous, occasionally with rhizomes. Culms 2-60 cm. Sheaths open, throats glabrous or long-ciliate; ligules of hairs, or membranous and ciliate, or ciliolate; blades flat or rolled, glabrous or villous. Inflorescences terminal, sometimes also axillary, panicles, spikes, or racemes. Spikelets with 2-5(10) florets, distal florets reduced; disarticulation above the glumes and between the florets. Glumes exceeding or exceeded by the florets, herbaceous, 3-5-veined, glabrous or scabridulous, sometimes with stiff, papillose-based hairs, glume apices acute or acuminate; calluses glabrous; lemmas herbaceous, with acute or clavate hairs in marginal rows or variously scattered, lemma apices unlobed, acute to long-acuminate; paleas sometimes with tufts of hairs on the margins; lodicules 2, obtriangular, glabrous or with bristles, 1-3-veined, lodicule apices at least as thick as the base; anthers 3, 0.3-3.1 mm. Caryopses 0.7-2.2 mm long, 0.4-1.1 mm wide; pericarp poorly separable, dull, smooth or rugulose, glabrous; embryos 1/3 – 1/2 as long as the caryopses; hila punctiform. x = 6.
Tribolium is a southern African genus of 10 species. It is unusual in the tribe in having unlobed lemmas, but has the haustorial synergids, bilobed or bi-awned prophylls, and stalked ovaries characteristic of the tribe. Linder and Davidse (1997) suggested that its closest relatives are probably Schismus, Karroochloa, and Rytidosperma.