Ebony (Arabic abanus) refers to the botanical family of ebony plants (ebenaceae) and its genus of ebony and persimmons (diospyros) which is indigenous to tropical East India and Africa and of which there are about 120 types. This deep black duramen or heartwood has no visible annual rings, is very hard and heavy and is among the most beautiful and expensive kinds of wood available. In violin building it is used for the fingerboard, tailpiece, pegs and saddle. Its density and hardness make it particularly suitable for areas that are under stress from the strings. Its density allows it be easily revolved and shaped for the pegs and heads.