Native to Africa and Asia, it's technically a tropical ornamental grass, meaning it's not very cold-hardy, but is still well worth growing in cold-winter regions even if you can only enjoy it for two seasons out of the year. It has a fast growth rate and is best planted in spring.
The beauty of purple fountain grass makes it popular as a focal point in a mixed planting, and it is often used in container gardens. You can also mass several of the plants together to create a visually beautiful border or privacy screen. Because the autumn seed heads of this plant are so attractive, purple fountain grass, like maiden grass, is very useful in fall flower gardens. The feathery seed heads (or "plumes") can later be cut for dried flower arrangements.