A very cool annual or maybe perennial.....
if you're in a warmer climate. Cardoon or Cynara cardunculus.
This is actually a very poor specimen compared to what they can look like. Mine are growing in the worst possible soil in a Blvd garden. A few weeks ago they were trampled to death by a dog, but are rebounding. I recently saw some of these used as accent plants in a public planting and they were magnificent - easily 3 feet across and a couple of feet tall.
To make them even more appealing, they're edible because they're related to artichokes. In this case, you eat the leaf ribs when they get large enough.
So, has anyone tried these? Next year I'll work them into my perennial beds for sure.