Well, this gorgeous daylily has thanked me year-after-year for bringing it home. Pumpkin Festival has great bloom performance, muted, yet vibrantly-colored flowers, and winter hardiness. Hybridized by Patrick Stamile, and registered in 1997, this daylily grows about 20-24" tall -- perfect for the front of the border. My Pumpkin Festival turned out not to be tissue-cultured. The nursery where the plant came from (noted on the name tag) had a disclaimer posted online that all the plants were field divisions.
Tissue-cultured plants are created in a lab by taking a few cells from a mother plant and developing new plants (clones). This is an inexpensive way to produce large numbers of plants in a short amount of time. Problem is, tissue-cultured daylilies often do not thrive, or may not look exactly like the mother plants. I once had a tissue-cultured daylily that produced beautiful foliage, but after three years it failed to produce even one bloom. Compost-city for that plant.
Many large-scale operations sell tissue-cultured daylilies for greater profit. When you see what should be an expensive daylily being sold at a 'cheap-o' price, this could indicate that it has been tissue-cultured. But often, these daylilies can be priced as expensively as the field grown divisions. This is why knowing your source is so important.