Plants perennial; cespitose. Culms 8-55 cm, sometimes geniculate and branched basally, usually curving distally; internodes minutely retrorsely pubescent, mostly solid. Leaves mostly basal; sheaths compressed-keeled, closed, glabrous, margins scarious; ligules 1-3.5 mm, membranous, lanceolate; blades 1-12 cm long, 0.7-2 mm wide, stiff, usually folded, often spirally twisted, midrib well-developed, margins thick and whitish. Inflorescences terminal, panicles of widely spaced, racemosely arranged, spikelike branches, exceeding the upper leaves; branches strongly divergent, with distant to slightly imbricate, closely appressed spikelets. Spikelets 3-5.5 mm, mostly sessile, compressed laterally, with 1 floret; florets bisexual; disarticulation at the base of the panicle and above the glumes. Glumes unequal, lanceolate, 1-veined; lemmas usually exceeding the glumes, 3-veined, unawned or shortly awned; paleas subequal to the lemmas; anthers 3; styles 2. Caryopses fusiform. x = 10. Name from the Greek schedon, near; Steudel considered Schedonnardus to be closely related to Nardus.