Ebony is somewhat of a controversial hardwood, mostly because of the history surrounding the harvesting of the trees. There are a number of species of ebony, ranging from a deep, dark brown to a jet black in color. Ebony is a very slow-growing wood, often taking as much as 100 years for a tree to reach full maturity. In some countries, crews would come through an area like locusts and cut every viable ebony tree. As a result, ebony has become a rare commodity and an expensive one at that. The deep black color can provide an amazing contrast to the other woods in a segmented woodturning.