Laxly to densely caespitose, turf-forming perennial. Stems 13-65 cm, with 2-4 nodes. Ligule to 2.5 mm, Auricles inconspicuous or absent. Leaf blades 5-25 cm x 0.5-5 mm, glabrous, folded in young shoots. Spike straight or slightly curved, 5-20 cm. Rachis slender, flexuous, 0.5-1.5 mm thick at nodes, glabrous or scabridulous only on angles. Spikelets 4.5-18 mm, with 3-11 fertile and 0-1 rudimentary florets. Upper glume lanceolate to narrowly oblong, 4.5-10 mm. Lemma 3.5-7 mm, oblong or oblong-lanceolate; awn absent. Mature caryopses 2.9-5.5 x 0.7-1.5 mm. Fl. 4-8. Meadows, pastures, sand dunes, waste places, s.l.-2050 m. often cultivated.
Temperate Eurasia; introduced into other temperate regions. Euro-Sib. element.