Growth and architecture of early versus late successional shrubs are compared and contrasted to evaluate their leaf display characteristics. Early successional shrubs had a higher growth rate over an extended period of time compared to late successional shrubs. Inter-branch length and branch angle were greater for late successional species as compared to early successional ones. First- and second-order branch production over third-order branches was greater in late successional shrubs, whereas the reverse was the case for early successional ones. On the other hand, length contribution by all branch orders was higher for the early successional species. The bifurcation ratio was significantly higher for early successional species growing in the open as compared to late successional shrub species growing in shade. Early successional shrubs follow an exploitive strategy and make faster growth whereas late successionals have a conservative strategy for survival in shade.