I promised dear Grace that when this monstrosity bloomed in my front yard I would photograph and blog it.
It is a tree dahlia which is native to South America and is also grown in Australia. The original owner of our house was apparently a horticulture specialist and we have severl freakazoid plants that I can't identify and have never seen anywhere else in the US.
This beast is glorious and impossible to kill. It is probably a good 30-40 years old.
So there you have it. My monstrosity.