Convert particles/strands to mesh

Hi

I post this here under modelling, because I actually use this feature to model plants. Usually I start with a stem-object and some branches, and then I let a particle-system in hair mode to make the leaves. It works, and with modelled leafs I can make the plant a single mesh by applying the particle system in the modifier panel.

If the leaves are simple strands however this doesn’t work. All that’s left after converting strands by applying the particlesystem is a bunch of edges where the strands used to be. How can I convert strands to actually renderable objects?

All I found considering this issue was this old thread http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?p=1478259#post1478259

I dont have any ideas sorry but i remember having the same problem long time ago.