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Small tree or mallee 3–10 m. Bark white, grey or greyish green and smooth throughout; occasionally with black horizontal scars. Branchlets reddish yellow. Juvenile leaves sessile, 1.3–3.9 × 0.9–3.2 cm, circular to cordate and greyish green. Adult leaves thick and greyish green, 5–8 × 1–2 cm, lanceolate, lateral veins indistinct, margins entire, apex acuminate; petiole terete and 1–1.5 cm long. Inflorescences axillary and solitary; umbellasters with three flowers. Flower buds green to yellow, smooth and obovoid; hypanthium 0.4–0.5 cm wide; stamens white. Capsule hemispherical to bell-shaped, slightly wrinkled, 0.6–0.8 cm diameter; valves three to four, flush or protruding slightly. Boland et al. 1984, Chippendale 1988. Distribution AUSTRALIA: Tasmania (Central Plateau). Habitat Occurs on shallow soils between rock outcrops on plateaus and mountain peaks to 1400 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 7. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration NT333. Taxonomic note Very similar to E. gunnii, but with a more straggly habit and slightly wrinkled fruits.
The boundaries between Eucalyptus archeri and E. gunnii are somewhat indistinct, but in its typical form E. archeri is morphologically, ecologically and horticulturally separable. It can be recognised by its all-green appearance, with no hint of glaucescence. All-green stands occur in the highest parts of its range, but glaucescence appears increasingly with lower altitude, and it becomes difficult to separate from E. gunnii. Whether this is due to introgressive hybridisation, or E. archeri is merely a high-altitude variant of E. gunnii, has not yet been resolved (Gum Group 2007).
The alpine habitat of typical E. archeri is rather nutrient-deficient and prone to waterlogging, resulting in small, mallee-like trees. Even in cultivation it is not a rapid grower, and thereby also differs from E. gunnii. At Lullingstone Castle seedlings from Tom Hart Dyke’s 2002 collection have achieved only 5.5 m at the time of writing, and others from the same collection are similarly slow at Kew (4 m in 2005), although already flowering. These trees are, however, quite distinct from E. gunnii, their green foliage borne on stiffly ascending yellowish twigs. Despite its alpine origins E. archeri is not as reliably hardy as E. gunnii, and in Oregon it has been killed at –8ºC (S. Hogan, pers. comm. 2007). Once established it seems better able to resist cold, and TROBI records numerous significant specimens between Devon and Edinburgh, the tallest in the British Isles being an individual of 23 m in 2005, at Plas Newydd, Anglesey.