Plants perennial; rhizomatous and/or stoloniferous. Culms 30-150
cm, erect to ascending, flattened. Leaves basal and cauline; sheaths
mostly glabrous, margins sparsely ciliate basally, scabrous distally; ligules
0.2-1 mm; blades flat to conduplicate, glabrous, margins ciliate basally.
Rames 2-10 cm, erect. Sessile spikelets: lower glumes 4-5
mm, 10-15-veined, lateral veins distinct, margins scarious, apices acute; upper
glumes smooth, hyaline to membranous, acute; anthers 3. Pedicels
4-5 mm. Pedicellate spikelets 4-7 mm, acuminate. 2n = 20, 36.
Hemarthria altissima grows in tropical and subtropical regions throughout
the world, including southern Texas and Florida. It is considered native to the
Mediterranean region. Although an excellent forage grass, it is not sufficiently
abundant in the Flora region to be important in this regard.