Nepenthes spectabilis is endemic to the highlands of Sumatra, where it is found in cloud forests above 1,600 m elevation. The species produces elongated pitchers which are coloured brown and lime green in a mottled pattern. The peristome is attractively striped. Its lower pitchers usually have a pair of fringed wings running along its length. The upper pitchers are known to be particularly gracile and form an elegant curving profile.
N. spectabilis grows both as a terrestrial and as an epiphyte, and inhabits the thick layer of moss and leaf litter that accumulates on all surfaces in the high elevation rainforests. Mature plants can send up long vines which reach high into the canopy.