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Using Arnold, it’s extremely easy to add colour variations to particle/ MASH instances. This works in a similar way to the MASH Colour node, which is only available when using MASH in Repro mode (when the output is a mesh). When you’re working with instances, the job of colour variations is down to the renderer.

Here’s how the workflow works in Arnold:

Create a MASH network (Instancer mode) with a Sphere
Add an aiStandardSurface to your Sphere
Add an aiColorJitter to the Color attribute of your shader.
Set a color for Input
Under the Object rolldown set values for Hue Min and Hue Max

You should now see colour variation across your spheres when you render the scene (remember to add a light!).

You can also add the effect per face as well as per object (the image below does both) so each leaf has a slightly different colour: