The patterns of hybridization and asymmetrical gene flow among species are important for understanding the processes that maintain distinct species. We examined the potential for asymmetrical gene flow in sympatric populations of Eucalyptus aggregata and Eucalyptus rubida, both long-lived trees of southern Australia. A total of 421 adults from three hybrid zones were genotyped with six microsatellite markers. We used genealogical assignments, admixture analysis and analyses of spatial genetic structure and spatial distribution of individuals, to assess patterns of interspecific gene flow within populations. A high number of admixed individuals were detected (13.9-40% of individuals), with hybrid populations consisting of F1 and F2 hybrids and backcrosses in both parental directions. Across the three sites, admixture proportions were skewed towards the E. aggregata genetic cluster (x=0.56-0.65), indicating that backcrossing towards E. aggregata is more frequent. Estimates of long-term migration rates also indicate asymmetric gene flow, with higher migration rates from E. aggregata to hybrids compared with E. rubida. Taken together, these results indicate a greater genetic input from E. aggregata into the hybrid populations. This asymmetry probably reflects differences in style lengths (E. rubida: ∼7 mm, E. aggregata: ∼4 mm), which can prevent pollen tubes of smaller-flowered species from fertilizing larger-flowered species. However, analyses of fine-scale genetic structure suggest that localized seed dispersal (<40 m) and greater clustering between hybrid and E. aggregata individuals may also contribute to directional gene flow. Our study highlights that floral traits and the spatial distributions of individuals can be useful predictors of the directionality of interspecific gene flow in plant populations.Heredity advance online publication, 10 November 2010; doi:10.1038/hdy.2010.127.