The star bore the traditional names Talitha, Talitha Borealis and Alphikra Borealis. Talitha, which was shared with Kappa Ursae Majoris) comes from the Arabic phrase Al Fiḳrah al Thalitha "the third spring, or leap, of the ghazal". The term Borealis meaning "the north side" in Latin. In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) to catalog and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN's first bulletin of July 2016 included a table of the first two batches of names approved by the WGSN; which included Talitha for this star.
The Iota Ursae Majoris system is composed of two sets of binary stars. The two binary systems orbit around each other once every 2,084 years. The apparent separation between the two binaries is rapidly decreasing as they follow their orbits. In 1841 when the B component was first discovered, they had a separation of 10.7 arcseconds, or at least 156 AU. By 1971 their separation had decreased to 4.5 arcseconds, or at least 66 AU. This system appears to be dynamically unstable with a high likelihood and may become disrupted on a time scale on the order of 105 years.
The brightest component is a white A-typesubgiant. It is a member of a spectroscopic binary system whose components have an orbital period of 4,028 days. The companion, which has not been directly observed, is thought to be a white dwarf with a mass of 1.0 ± 0.3 M☉.
The companion binary is composed of the 9th magnitude and 10th magnitude stars, both of which are red dwarfs. These two red dwarfs, designated Iota Ursae Majoris B and C respectively, orbit around each other with a period of 39.7 years, and are separated by roughly 0.7 arcseconds, or at least 10 AU. This pair may be the source of the X-ray emission detected from this system.
^Evans, D. S. (June 20–24, 1966), Batten, Alan Henry; Heard, John Frederick (eds.), "The Revision of the General Catalogue of Radial Velocities", Determination of Radial Velocities and their Applications, University of Toronto: International Astronomical Union, 30: 57, Bibcode:1967IAUS...30...57E