The rattlesnake weed is an annual plant that is native to India and China. It is purplish in color and has spike-like clusters of small white or purple flowers that protrude from the center of the leaves.
The rattlesnake weed has been widely introduced as an ornamental flower for home gardens. This plant reseeds plentifully and grows best in bright sunlight. The rattlesnake weed has been cultivated for centuries in Asia for its edible leaves and oil. The oil can be eaten or used as a lacquer. The leaves can be eaten as herbs or garnishes and are popular among sushi chefs.