For many, red roses on Valentine's Day are a representation of love, but the flower has a variety of meanings depending on where and how it is used.
According to Andrew T. Cummings' book "All about Symbols," a single rose is seen as a symbol of perfection, earthly passions and sensuality of the flesh. It can also symbolize time and eternity, and life and death. The rose also "symbolizes love, life, creation, fertility, beauty and virginity," Cummings wrote.
Roses have significant meanings for some cultures, and in the Chinese custom, the rose symbolizes fragrance and prosperity. In ancient Egyptian culture, roses were dedicated to Isis and symbolized pure love free of lusts of the flesh. In the Greco-Roman tradition, the rose symbolizes love, gaiety, beauty and passion. The Romans would grow roses in their funeral gardens as a symbol of renewed resurrection and eternal spring. In the cabala, the center of the rose is the sun and the petals are infinity, the harmonious variety of nature.