Phi Tauri has a magnitude 7.51 visual companion located at an angular separation of 48.80 arc seconds along a position angle of 258°, as of 2015. The pair form a yellow and blue double that is visible in small telescopes. A fainter, magnitude 12.27 companion lies at a separation of 118.10 arc seconds along a position angle of 25°, as of 2001.
With κ1, κ2, υ and χ, it composed the Arabic were the Arabs' Al Kalbain, the Two Dogs. According to the catalogue of stars in the Technical Memorandum 33-507 - A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, Al Kalbain were the title for five stars : this star (φ) as Alkalbain I, χ as Alkalbain II, κ1 as Alkalbain III, κ2 as Alkalbain IV and υ as Alkalbain V.
In Chinese, 礪石 (Lì Dàn), meaning Whetstone, refers to an asterism consisting of φ Tauri, ψ Tauri, 44 Tauri and χ Tauri. Consequently, the Chinese name for φ Tauri itself is 礪石四 (Lì Dàn sì, English: the Fourth Star of Whetstone.).
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