Kite Demo Landscape Question

Inside the kite demo the landscape material named “M_Landscape_01” has static meshes attached to it somehow. From what I can see you can paint the grass/heather plants/flowers in like a normal 2d material but when it shows up it is a 3d meshes. I was wondering if anyone knew how epic did this? I was also wondering if this is a less expensive way to render out a bunch of static meshes instead of painting them with the foliage brush?