Plants erect to decumbent perennial herbs or shrublets, up to 75 cm tall; stems densely pubescent to tomentose, sometimes also with scattered long, simple hairs. Leaves petiolate; petioles 2-12 mm long; blades 1-5.5(-7.5 cm ong. 0.6-3.7(-5) cm wide. bases cuneate to rounded or truncate, margins serrate-crenate, tips subacute to retuse. Flowers axillary, solitary or paired; pedicels 2-30 mm long, articulated above middel. Calyces 5-9 mm long, tomentose outsde, bases 10-ribbed, lobes puberulous on the inside; petals (5-)8-11 mm long, yellow to orange or sometimees white, erect when open. Mericarps 7-9, 3-3.5 mm long, with a pair of puberulous beaks up to 1 m long, rugose to reticulate on the back, reticulate-striate on the sides. enclosed by calyces in fruit.
Sida ovata grows in deciduous bushland and woodland, alluvial plains, and alongside roadsides at 60-1530 m. It is known from regions N1-3, C2, and S1-3 of the Flora of Somalia and from Djibouti,Socotra, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and in the drier parts of outhern Africa, in Arabia, and eastwards to India.