This species of Gasteria has its strap-shaped leaves in two opposite rows (distichous). Its flowers are 12–22 mm long. It very closely resembles its two relatives, Gasteria pillansii and Gasteria disticha to the north, both of which are also distichous. However G. brachyphylla can be distinguished by its very shiny, smooth leaves (its two relatives' leaves are rough with tiny tubercles). "Brachyphylla" means "wide/short leaves", and this species's leaves are shorter than its relatives'.