Purple three-awn is widely distributed in Southern California as well as northern Mexico and the Great Plains states. It is a robust plant that has caught the eye of horticulturists for its ornamental value in native and exotic landscapes and gardens. It can remain in an evergreen state in mild winter zones throughout the year, otherwise it turns deciduous by late fall and becomes sparse and reduced in size. Purple three-awn does best in sunny locations and does well in containers, along borders and in mass plantings to provide color and texture contrast to trees and shrubs. Some seeds can germinate in irrigated settings but are usually easy to manage. Purple three-awn is highly adapted to sunny garden locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer.