Rosette small, erect, cylindrical. Leaves few, 50-70 cm long, 3-4 cm wide, broadly rounded with a short spined tip; green with a purple-tinged sheath; margins almost entire. Scape slender, slightly woolly; inflorescence simple or fewbranched, pyramidal, few-flowered; bracts spined, red; flowers stalkless, spreading, the 2.5 cm long sepals united at the base; petals blue, often darker at the tip.
A. gracilis is in the subgenus Ortgiesia (Group 4).
Source: (2005). Bromeliaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.