Nepenthes ovata is a climbing plant. The stem grows to 5 m in length and 6 mm in diameter. Internodes are cylindrical and up to 15 cm long.
Leaves are coriaceous in texture and sessile to broadly sub-petiolate. The lamina is lanceolate-spathulate and reaches 12 cm in length and 4 cm in width. It usually has an acute apex and is gradually attenuate towards the base. Three longitudinal veins, which originate near the base of the lamina, are present on either side of the midrib. Pinnate veins are indistinct. Tendrils may be up to 18 cm long. Their insertion at the end of the lamina is apical.
Rosette and lower pitchers are either infundibular in the lower third to half and ovoid above, or ovoid throughout. They reach 25 cm in height and 9 cm in width. A pair of fringed wings (≤15 mm wide) runs down the front of the pitcher. The glandular region covers the lower third to half of the inner surface. The glands are overarched and occur at a density of 400 to 1300 per square centimetre. The pitcher mouth is round and elongated into a wide neck. The peristome is flattened, expanded, and up to 40 mm wide. A series of teeth (≤7 mm wide) line its inner margin. The peristome ribs are spaced 0.5 to 1.5 mm apart. Pitchers bear 14 to 18 longitudinal nerves across their height. The pitcher lid is ovate and usually has a hook-shaped appendage on the underside near the peristome. A branched spur (≤5 mm long) is inserted near the base of the lid.
Upper pitchers arise abruptly from the ends of the tendrils, forming a 20 to 30 mm wide curve. They are cylindrical in the lower part and infundibular above. They reach 20 cm in length and 6 cm in width. The wings are reduced to ribs in aerial pitchers. The peristome is broadly cylindrical, up to 10 mm wide, and bears small but distinct teeth. The peristome ribs are spaced 0.5 to 1 mm apart. Upper pitchers also bear 14 to 18 longitudinal nerves. The mouth is horizontal and elongated into a short neck near the lid.
Nepenthes ovata has a racemose inflorescence. Female inflorescences are usually slightly larger than male ones. The peduncle may be up to 7 cm long, while the rachis reaches 10 cm in length. Pedicels are bracteolate and up to 5 mm long. Sepals are lanceolate and up to 3 mm long.
The stem, leaves, and pitchers have a sparse indumentum. Inflorescences have a denser covering of hairs.
Lower pitchers are usually green to red with a dark red peristome. Upper pitchers are yellowish-green and often have a striped peristome.
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