I use that test:
1 - Create an "archetype-catalog.xml" and set it on your apache "htdocs" directory
Executing "mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeCatalog=http://localhost" works fine.
2 - Configure your apache to use certificates and allow SSL (port 443) to access to same archetype catalog file
Executing "mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeCatalog=https://localhost" does not work. (it shows default catalog)
It seems that stating with "https://" does not match with allowed parameter values (local, internal, file:, http
3 - Anyway, try to redirect your working HTTP access to HTTPS (configure rewrite engine on Apache) as workaround to access you SSL catalog.
Executing "mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeCatalog=http://localhost" (same as step 1) IS NOT WORKING!!! (it shows empty catalog)
There's no way to access an archetype-catalog.xml located on a SSL url ?