After much searching I finally found the name of this flower thanks to CdnSue on RB. It is Scabiosa Caucasia a perennial, which grows to about 1.5 meters each year with multiple flowers each one atop a long stem. This photograph shows the flower with its unopened bud, before opening into the dramatic bloom with delicate white petals (first photograph below). Shortly after the bloom forms the anthers open (second photograph).
AF Micro NIKKOR 105mm 1:2.8 D plus PK13 extension tube
Other macro photographs
Flower head macro has been featured in the following groups:
Nikon DSLR users group 13th December 2009
Closeups in Nature 3rd October 2010