This lovely flower is a Dahlia. It's a perennial that's native to Mexico and Central America. In fact, it is the national flower of Mexico. Dahlias are hardy in zones 7 - 11, so in most parts of the country, it must be planted each spring and cut back in the fall after the first frost.
Dahlias can be recognized by their brightly colored flowers and leafy stems. They range in size from 1 foot tall to over 6 feet tall. These flowers are summer bloomers. They prefer full sun and sandy, well-drained soil. They should be watered once a week, but in extremely hot conditions, they should be watered more.