An efficient water soluble fluorescent Al(3+) receptor, 1-[[(2-furanylmethyl)imino]methyl]-2-naphthol (1-H) was synthesized and characterized by physico-chemical and spectroscopic tools along with single crystal X-ray crystallography. High selectivity and affinity of 1-H towards Al(3+) in HEPES buffer (DMSO/water: 1/100) of pH 7.4 at 25 °C showed it to be suitable for detection of intracellular Al(3+) by fluorescence microscopy. Metal ions, viz. alkali (Na(+), K(+)), alkaline earth (Mg(2+), Ca(2+)), and transition-metal ions (Ni(2+), Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Co(2+), Cu(2+), Fe(3+), Cr(3+/6+), Hg(2+)) and Pb(2+), Ag(+) did not interfere. The lowest detection limit for Al(3+) was calculated to be 6.03 × 10(-7) M in 100 mM HEPES buffer (DMSO/water: 1/100). Theoretical calculations have also been included in support of the configuration of the probe-aluminium complex.