Purplestem beggarticks originates in Europe, Asia and n. Africa, and is introduced in North America, Australia and the Pacific Islands (Barkley, Brouillet, and Strother 2012). In North America, it is found in Canada (N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.) and the US (Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Va., W.Va. Wis.), where it occurs in wet sites, to 1700 elevation (Barkley, Brouillet and Strother 2012).
In British Columbia, it has been collected in Burnaby, Richmond and Pitt Meadows. Flowers from August to October.