Regional distribution of genetic diversity in widespread species may be influenced by hybridization with locally restricted, closely related species. Previous studies have shown that Central American East Pacific populations of the wide-ranged Avicennia germinans, the black mangrove, harbour higher genetic diversity than the rest of its range. Genetic diversity in this region might be enhanced by introgression with the locally restricted Avicennia bicolor. We tested the hypotheses of ancient hybridization using phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA and intergenic chloroplast DNA; we also tested for current hybridization by population level analysis of nuclear microsatellites. Our results unveiled ancient ITS introgression between a northern Pacific Central American A. germinans lineage and A. bicolor. However, microsatellite data revealed contemporary isolation between the two species. Polymorphic ITS sequences from Costa Rica and Panama are consistent with a zone of admixture between the introgressant ITS A. germinans lineage and a southern Central American lineage of A. germinans. Interspecific introgression influenced lineage diversity and divergence at the nuclear ribosomal DNA; intraspecific population differentiation and secondary contact are more likely to have enhanced regional genetic diversity in Pacific Central American populations of the widespread A. germinans.