Paint a flower petal with an alpha channel. Save as a TIFF file in your Maya scene directory. Do the same for a leaf. They both should be oriented like this image with a few pixels below in the alpha channel. (This fixes a rendering issue with quadratic sampeling.)
Select the Modeling section of Maya, choose from upper left, status line.
Select Generate->Paint Effects Tool
Draw a simple stroke in the Persp View
In the Attribute Editor, select the third tab named brush2
Change Brush Type to Mesh
Under Brush Profile
Brush Width 0
Up Under Mesh
Check Per pixel Lighting
Check End Caps
Under Tubes (Most options are under tubes.)
Up Under Shading
Change Color 1 to green
Under Tube Shading
Change Color 2 to light green, this is the top of the stem color.
Under Shadow Effects Check Cast Shadows (Will not work for raytrace shadows, only shadow map.
Under Creation (within tubes)
Tubes per step 1 (This number will vary depending on your original curve length.)
Length Max 3
Tube Width 1 .015 (base)
Under Width Scale
Elevation Min 1
Elevation Max 1
Split Twist .25
Leaf bend -.5
Leaf Twirl 1
Uncheck Leaf Use branch Tex
Image Name Select the folder icon to find the leaf you made in Photoshop.
Petals in Flower 10 (You can always input a higer value than the slider.)
Num Flowers 1
Petal Twirl .1
Make Petal Color 1 and 2 value .8 white
Uncheck Flower use Branch Tex
Image Name Select the folder icon to find the flower you made in Photoshop.
Save your file
Turbulence Type Tree Wind
Play the animation
Under Maya Software Tab
Under Paint Effects Rendering options
Select Generate->Get Brush...
Under FlowersMesh select Tiger.mel
Draw a prefab flower.
To reset the brush: Generate -> Reset Template Brush
Use the curve to move the flowers around the scene, check Windows->General Editors-> Hypergraph: Hierarchy window to find the curve.
Note: Mental Ray will not render Maya Paint Effects. Use Modify->Convert->Paint Effects to Polygons->
Select Quad output.
The paints Effects history still controls the poly flowers, use the history to modify.