The study examined the vegetation composition and phenotypic traits at five sites, differing in degree of disturbance, in a tropical dry deciduous forest of India. A total of 49 species and 4033 individuals (≯= 9.6 cm dbh) were enumerated in the cumulative 15-ha permanently protected area. The study revealed that the five sites represented five more or less different communities (species combinations with different dominants). On the basis of phenotypic traits, these communities or sites could not be discriminated, either by proportion of species belonging to different trait categories or by the cumulative importance value of the trait categories. As a result, disturbance did not affect the predominant traits. Evidently, all the communities shared the major phenotypic traits of the dry deciduous forest. Small leaf size, medium leaf texture, rough bark texture and medium deciduousness characterized the dry deciduous forest vegetation. Both the percent of species and importance values were larger for medium or less deciduous trait categories than for highly deciduous trait, representing a trade-off between water loss and the period of dry matter synthesis.